U.S. stocks started lower Thursday after the government reported the number of those applying for jobless benefits rose more than estimated last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54 points to 13,118. The S&P 500 index dipped 5 points to 1,407. The Nasdaq Composite declined 13 points to 3,060. Slowing growth and weakness overseas has investors in a selling mood this morning once again extending the losses into a third day. On the earnings front, Hewlett Packard is down 6% on disappointing earnings similar to Dell a few days ago. Dell is down 3% in sympathy. The blue chip techs like Google and Apple are lower as well. Intel is down 2.5% showing some relative weakness maybe in sympathy with HP. In the retail space, Guess is getting hit down 17% on disappointing earnings. Not to be out done, Big Lots is down 20% on disappointing earnings. Hormel Foods is modestly higher on in line earnings. Through the morning the averages accelerated to the downside. Materials and industrials are particularly weak. AK Steel is down 5% on a downgrade. Caterpillar was upgraded, but the stock is lower. Toro is lower on earnings. Even the defensive sectors are under pressure. The healthcare space looks the best of any sector. Bristol Myers is higher by one percent this morning as the stock seems to have bottomed out. Through the morning the Dow fell nearly 100 points before rebounding. The Nasdaq fell 26 points before rebounding. HP still has the techs under pressure. Nothing looks particularly good. During the lunch hour the averages moved back toward the lows. In the tech space, Biadu.com is lower by 6% on a downgrade. Rival, Google is one of the few techs trading higher. HP, Dell, and Intel remain particularly weak. In the last hour, no rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 115 points at 13,057. The S&P 500 index declined 11 points to 1,402. The Nasdaq Composite shed 20 points to 3,053.
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