U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after weaker-than-expected data on durable goods and jobless claims fueled uncertainty about the economy's recovery, and outlooks from Motorola and Qualcomm hit tech shares.
Initial jobless claims fell in the latest week, though not as much as expected, while durable goods orders rose in December, but to a level below that forecast by a Reuters poll of economists.
We used to think we would start creating jobs in the first half of the year, but datapoints like this suggest that's less likely, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut. The longer it takes to create jobs, the more uncertain the recovery becomes.
Quarterly results from 3M Co
Procter & Gamble Co
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 62.65 points, or 0.62 percent, to 10,189.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 7.36 points, or 0.65 percent, to 1,090.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 25.80 points, or 1.16 percent, to 2,195.03.
The Nasdaq was pressured a day after Qualcomm Inc
Late Wednesday President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union speech, which had no new plans to tighten Wall Street oversight. Obama promised not to abandon his struggle to overhaul healthcare, placing stocks in related sectors in the spotlight.
Also in Washington, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination for a second term appeared headed for a Senate vote on Thursday, and polls show he has a majority needed to overcome efforts to block his appointment.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)