Walmart Forecast Helps Put Damper on Stocks

Rising unemployment figures didn't help, either
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2021 3:15 PM CST
Walmart Forecast Helps Put Damper on Stocks
A now-hiring sign is displayed at a CD One Price Cleaners in Schaumburg, Ill. The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week to 861,000, evidence that layoffs remain painfully high.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Some bleak job numbers help put a damper on Wall Street Thursday. The Dow fell 119 points to 31,493, the S&P 500 fell 17 points to 3,913, and the Nasdaq fell 100 points to 13,865. Those declines came after the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to 861,000 last week, more than expected, reports the Wall Street Journal. Tech stocks led the declines, with Facebook and Apple falling at least 1%. A weak forecast from Walmart, which predicts slowing sales in 2021 after a pandemic-related boost, didn't help the market's day, notes CNBC.

But the mood wasn't all doom and gloom. “This is not the direction that you want to see jobless claims go, but keep in mind this could be a small bump in the road as the pace for vaccinations continues to accelerate and cases are down across the country,” said Mike Loewengart of E-Trade Financial. The AP sees the jobless figures as evidence that layoffs remain "painfully high" across the US. The figure of 861,000 is up 13,000 from the previous week. (More stock market stories.)

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