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Wall Street dips on dismal economic data
Date: 2010/8/23 Click: 1833
Wall Street dipped on Thursday after a batch of downbeat data weighed on the market, reigniting concerns that the U.S. economic recovery was losing steam.

The Labor Department said that the number of U.S. workers filing for jobless claims jumped 12,000 to 500,000 in the week ended Aug. 14, the highest level in nine months, while analysts were expecting a modest decline.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which aims to smooth volatility in the data, also rose to the highest level since December.

The unexpected surge in unemployment claims unnerved investors who just found some relief on signs of improvement in consumer spending, exerting downward pressure on the market.

Major indexes expanded losses after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced a surprise decline in regional manufacturing activity.

The Conference Board said on Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.1 percent last month after dropping 0.3 percent in June. Economists had expected a gain of 0.2 percent.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said this combination resulted in "a weak economy with little forward momentum. However, the good news is that the data do not point to a recession."

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 144.56 points, or 1.39 percent, to 10,270.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 index plummeted 18.57 points, or 1.70 percent, to 1,075.60 and the Nasdaq sank 36. 86 points, or 1.66 percent, to 2,178.84.

The U.S. dollar continued to gain against the euro on Thursday. The euro slid to 1.2824 dollars from 1.2865 on Wednesday.
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