Stocks Fall for Second Straight Day
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. equity indices slumped for a second straight day Thursday after jobless claims rose and data on general business conditions came in soft. Stocks also suffered from Wednesday's selloff that had resulted from the Federal Reserve's release of the minutes from its January meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 47 points, or 0.3%, to 13,881.
Boeing is expected to detail Friday its plan to return the grounded Dreamliner jet to service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal . Shares added 1.7%.
Wal-Mart announced quarterly earnings from continuing operations of $1.67 a share on revenue of $127.1 billion. Analysts expected profit of $1.57 a share on revenue of $128.9 billion. Shares of the world's largest retailer tacked on 1.5%.
Hewlett-Packard reported a profit of 82 cents a share on revenue of $28.4 billion. Analysts predicted the tech company would post earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $27.79 billion during its fiscal first quarter. Shares increased more than 5% in after-hours trading.
Volumes were heavy on the exchanges as investors traded 4.23 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 2.04 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Decliners were ahead of advancing issues by a 2.2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.3-to-1 ratio on the tech-heavy index.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) slipped 0.6% on Thursday after Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn hosted a conference call about the iPhone manufacturer's proposal to eliminate preferred stock .
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday that the consumer price index for January remained unchanged from the prior month's flat reading. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting inflation to rise 0.1%. The core rate, excluding food and energy, climbed 0.3%.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 16 rose 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, up from a revised 342,000 claims the week before. Economists expected claims to rise 355,000. The four-week moving average rose to 360,750 from the previous average of 352,750.
"It's a bit of a non-event. The short-term numbers are all over the place and we still have the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy," said Marty Leclerc, chief investment officer at Barrack Yard Advisors.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that existing-home sales rose to an annual rate of 4.92 million in January. A consensus of economists polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for an annual rate of 4.9 million in January. December's downwardly revised annual rate was 4.9 million.