Richard Drew, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2011 file photo, specialist John O'Hara, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock markets retreated slightly Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, after a surprisingly buoyant start to the new year triggered by a run of encouraging U.S. economic data.

Stocks fell slightly on Wednesday following declines in Europe as the euro weakened against the dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 7 points to 12,389 in the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poors 500 index fell 3 points to 1,274, and the Nasdaq fell 11 points to 2,637.

Banks and technology companies fell the most. Bank of America Corp. and American Express Co. were the biggest losers among the 30 stocks in the Dow average with declines of 3 percent and 1.3 percent.

Fallen photography pioneer Eastman Kodak Co. lost a penny to 64 cents after the company said its stock could be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange if it doesn't rise above $1 in the next six months. Phone equipment maker Acme Packet Inc. plunged 19 percent after saying its quarterly profit and revenue would be well below analyst expectations.

Yahoo Inc. fell 2 percent after it named Scott Thompson, president of eBay Inc.'s PayPal division, as its new CEO. Yahoo has been without a permanent CEO since firing Carol Bartz in September. The company's board lost patience with her attempts to turn around the struggling Internet company during her 2 ½ years on the job.

European markets fell after the euro weakened to $1.29 versus the dollar from $1.30 the day before. Another increase in Italy's long-term borrowing rates renewed worries about Europe's flailing efforts to restore investors' confidence in the region's governments.

Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent, while the CAC-40 in France fell 1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British stocks was down 0.4 percent.

Other economic measures were better. A trade group for malls said a key measure of retail sales rose 5.3 percent because of strong after-Christmas shopping. The better-than-expected result caused the International Council of Shopping Centers to raise its sales-growth estimate for December.

Chrysler said U.S. sales rose 26 percent last year as its turnaround got traction. Other carmakers are also reporting December auto sales on Wednesday. Analysts are expecting strong results because of pent-up demand.

U.S. stocks opened the year with a bang on Tuesday. The Dow rose almost 180 points, or 1.5 percent, after a measure of U.S. manufacturing expanded at the fastest rate in six months.