US stocks dip on Walmart, middling data

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Specialist Bradley Kessler, left, works with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this May 7, 2013 file photo. US stocks Thursday, May 16, 2013, took a pause from a recent winning streak, selling off after a disappointing earnings report from Walmart and some middling economic data. AP PHOTO/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK—US stocks Thursday took a pause from a recent winning streak, selling off after a disappointing earnings report from Walmart and some middling economic data.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 44.10 (0.29 percent) to 15,231.59.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.41 (0.51 percent) to 1,650.37, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 6.37 (0.18 percent) to 3,465.24. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record levels Wednesday.

Thursday’s losses came after retail giant Walmart reported disappointing profits and signaled weaker-than-expected results in the second quarter.

Investors were also unimpressed by a rise in initial jobless claims by 32,000 to 360,000. New building permits soared in April, but housing starts plummeted.

Most of the data “point more on the disappointing side of the ledger and may give markets a reason to sell off,” said Andrew Fitzpatrick, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates, a money management firm.

“There’s also been a lot of positive momentum here recently and I think the market’s taking a little bit of a breather here.”

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