Stocks recovered from a big dip in early trading and stayed in positive territory for most of the day before plunging in the final 45 minutes of the trading session. Better-than-expected earnings reports by Sears (SHLD), Gap (GPS) and Aeropostale (ARO) raised hopes that consumer spending could be rebounding. But worries about the overall health of the economy eventually squelched the rally and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 8,277.

General Motors (GM) fell 26 percent, more than any of the 29 other Dow components, after the automakers' bondholders said they likely wouldn't agree to a debt exchange at the center of its government-mandated restructuring plan.

For more on stocks making moves today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.

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