The U.S. stock market declined Thursday on news of Greece woes and a disappointing unemployment claims report.
The S&P 500 Index declined 1.33 percent, or 14.67 points, to trade at 1,090.57 at 1:00 pm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 155.91 points, or 1.50 percent, to trade at 10,218.25.
For the second week, the number of unemployment claims were above expectations. Claims increased 22,000 to 496,000 while economists were expecting a drop.
The feasibility of Greece's ambitious austerity measures were called into questions on reports of massive, and sometimes violent, protests from Greek citizens.
S&P, the rating agency, stated Greece's debt rating may be cut within a month. The agency cited Greece's bleak economic growth prospects and potential civil unrest as causes of concern.
The headlines remain gross and it's becoming increasingly hard to hold up this market with no job creation, a continually crumbling housing market, [and a potential] downgrade of Greek debt, said Scott Redler, Chief Strategic Officer of T3Live.
The financial sector pared much of the gains it made on Wednesday as economic concerns overshadowed Fed Chairman Bernanke's commitment to keep interest rates low.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is down 1.35 percent and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is down 2.11 percent. These two stocks were the top gainers of the Dow in Wednesday's rally.
The American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) fell 3.44 percent and the ADRs of Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE) plunged 4.18 percent.
January core durable goods orders also defied expectations. Orders fell 0.6 percent while economists were expecting an increase. The report reflected weak demand for business equipment.
Shares of firms that produce such products fell. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is down 2.19 percent and Cummins (NYSE:CMI) is down 1.90 percent.
Health insurance companies are fairly resilient Thursday as prospects for President Obama's health care proposal look bleak as Obama attempts to gather the support from reluctant Republicans in the televised healthcare summit.
Aetna (NYSE:AET) is down only 0.24 percent and WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) is actually up 0.28 percent.
Follow us on twitter @IBTFinance