Stocks close lower after weak retail reports

November 16, 2012 • National News

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Stock indexes are inching higher in early trading Thursday after U.S. retail giants Wal-Mart and Target turned in mixed earnings reports.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes closed lower Thursday, a third straight decline, after U.S. retailers issued weak forecasts for earnings and more people filed claims for unemployment benefits.

Wal-Mart, Ross Stores and Limited Brands, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, all fell after issuing forecasts that disappointed financial analysts. Wal-Mart fell $2.59, or 3.6 percent, to $68.72.

The Dow Jones industrial average wavered between small gains and losses shortly after the opening bell, then moved lower at midmorning. It closed down 28.57 points at 12,542.38.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 2.16 points to 1,353.33 and the Nasdaq composite finished 9.87 points lower at 2,836.94.

Stocks have fallen steadily since voters returned President Barack Obama and a divided Congress to power. The Dow has Login to read more

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