Stocks fell on Thursday, on track for a third day of losses after jobless claims data missed heightened expectations as stocks wrap up their best first quarter in 14 years.
New U.S. jobless claims fell to a four-year low last week but still missed forecasts, while the previous week's number was revised higher. Analysts pointed out that jobless claims, after a period of improvement, showed signs of stalling - a worry for investors - in the latest report.
The data today is evidence that we're not going to have the robust recovery we had been expecting. The economy is growing, and the labor market is healing, but both on a very slow basis, said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive officer of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California.
U.S. household income grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter than previously thought, which could help underpin spending this quarter, according to the Commerce Department's final estimate of growth in gross domestic product for the quarter.
The S&P 500 is up almost 11 percent this quarter, its best start to the year since 1998 and its best quarter since the third period of 2009.
Some analysts are looking for a market pullback early in the second quarter after the strong early run as investors seek confirmation that the economy is not about to slow.
We've had an incredible rally, and in order for us to keep moving up, we're going to need data that is very strongly positive, not just lukewarm, Yoshikami said.
Limiting the Dow's loss was Coca-Cola Co
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 48.36 points, or 0.37 percent, at 13,077.63. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 10.24 points, or 0.73 percent, at 1,395.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 26.43 points, or 0.85 percent, at 3,078.53.
All 10 S&P 500 sectors fell, with financials <.GSPF>, a group closely tied to prospects for economic growth, down 1.6 percent. Wells Fargo & Co
The S&P 500 is off only 0.1 percent this week, with the day's decline erasing the gains from Monday's strong rally.
Best Buy Co Inc
Shares of JetBlue Airways
Going against the market's overall downtrend for the day, shares of Illumina Inc
Red Hat Inc
In the retail sector, the shares of watch and accessories company Fossil Inc
(Editing by Jan Paschal)