Wall Street tumbled again on Thursday, as retail sales numbers and jobless claims worried investors that the economy is in a deep recession.
The U.S. Labor Department posted new claims for unemployment benefits dipped by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 481,000last week, which have run above 400,000 for 16 weeks. Economists regard the figure above 400,000 as a recessionary level. Moreover, long-term claims jumped to 3.84 million, the highest level in 25 years.
Meanwhile, retailers reported disappointing October sales numbers, showing consumers are reducing their spending. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a better-than-expected 2.4 percent rise in October sales at stores open for at least a year. But Limited Brands, Gap Inc. and Macy's reported worse-than-expected sales. Even discounters such as Target and Costco posted weak numbers.
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of networking equipment, fell sharply as the company forecast the first revenue decline in five years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 443.48 points, or 4.85percent, to 8,695.79 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index sank 47.89 points, or 5.03 percent, to 904.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 72.94 points, or 4.34 percent, to 1,608.70.
(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2008)