NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in early trading Thursday after weak reports on hiring and retail sales. Disappointing earnings from Cisco Systems and Whole Foods also weighed the stock market.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,813 as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 61 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,899. The Nasdaq composite dropped seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,194.
JOBLESS CLAIMS: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to 339,000, evidence that layoffs ticked up. Economist had forecast claims of 330,000.
SNOW SALES: Cold weather caused U.S. retail sales to drop in January as Americans spent less on autos and clothing and at restaurants during a brutally cold month. The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.4 percent last month, the second straight decline after a 0.1 percent drop in December.
CISCO EARNINGS: Cisco Systems fell 98 cents, or 4 percent, to $21.89, after the company reported late Wednesday that weaker revenue and special charges weighed down its second-quarter earnings.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Whole Foods dropped $4.81, or 9 percent, to $50.64 after the grocery chain reported fiscal first-quarter profit and revenue that came in below analysts' forecasts. The company, known for its organic and natural food offerings, also lowered its earnings projections for the year for the second time in months
CABLE HOOK-UP: Comcast fell $1.91, or 4 percent, to $53.32 after it agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in stock. The deal would combine the top two cable TV companies in the United States. Time Warner's stock jumped $8.97, or 7 percent, to $144.24.