Wall Street down on media, retailers

Wall Street had accumulated losses by midday on Thursday as oil prices climbed to new records and as political upheaval remained in the news. At mid-session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.7 percent lower to 10,936. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 had each dropped 0.5 percent to 2,079.46 and to 1,252.97 respectively. The Nasdaq had actually recovered a little by noon after going as low as 2,060.41 in morning trade.

Walt Disney was down 3.2 percent to $28.95 after it was said that the company is planning to lay off workers and to cut film production in half. After the announcement CIBC downgraded Disney from “sector perform” to “sector under perform”. Other media stocks did little better. CBS fell 1.7 percent to $27.06, while Tribune declined by 2.3 percent to $31.61.

Retailers also saw losses, as Wal-Mart was down by 2.1 percent to $44.22 on a downgrade from “buy” to “neutral” from Merrill Lynch. Wal-Mart is off 6 percent since the beginning of the year. Elsewhere in the retail sector, JC Penney dropped 2.7 percent to $66.24 and Nordstrom fell 3.1 percent to $34.88.

The semiconductors sector recovered a bit from Wednesday’s losses. National Semiconductor added 2.1 percent to $23.44, while Broadcom was up by 3.5 percent to $28.40.


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