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Stocks Notch Up Losses for a Third Consecutive Session

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Stocks Notch Up Losses for a Third Consecutive Session

Stocks started the trading session nearly unchanged after falling nearly 1% on Wednesday. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) gave the S&P 500 index a boost as it was announced that the social media giant would be joining both the S&P 500 and the S&P 100 index. Jobless claims came out softer than expected, relieving some of the tension of a December tapering. Retail Sales were also stronger than expected, showing that the beginning of the holiday season was robust.

The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that retail sales increased 0.7 percent last month after rising by a revised 0.6 percent in October. November’s retail sales increase was the largest in five months. Economists had forecast retail sales, advancing 0.6 percent after a previously reported 0.4 percent gain in October. Core retail sales, which strip out automobiles, food services, and gasoline and building materials, increased 0.5 percent after rising 0.7 percent in October. Retail sales in November were buoyed by a 1.8 percent jump in receipts at auto and parts dealers. That helped to offset a 1.1 percent drop in sales at gasoline stations.

Jobless claims benefits increased 68,000 in the latest week to 368,000, according to the Labor Department. That was the largest weekly increase since November 2012. Economists had expected first-time applications to rise to 320,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 6,000 to 328,750.
The major averages accelerated their losses in the last 30 minutes of trading.

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The Dow Industrials moved down 103 points and are poised to test support near the 50-day moving average at 15,639. Momentum is negative with the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index printing in negative territory with a downward sloping trajectory.

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