NEW YORK (
) -- Stocks slumped Thursday with the major U.S. equity indices weighed down by
New single-family home sales dropped 2.2% to 307,000 in December, while initial jobless claims rose 21,000 last week to 377,000.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 22.33 points, or 0.18%, to 12,734.63 on Thursday. The
fell 7.6 points to 1,318.45 and the
finished 13.03 points lower at 2,805.28.
Breadth within the Dow was negative with 23 of the index's 30 components giving up ground
ended Thursday flat.
The biggest decliners Thursday were
AT&T shares fell 2.52% to $29.45. The telco giant beat analysts' fourth-quarter revenue estimates, boosted by sales of
gives AT&T an A- grade with a
Shares of HP fell 1.17% to $27.99. This company receives a C grade from
as well as a hold rating.
Alcoa shares dropped 1.15% to $10.36.
has a C- grade and hold rating on the aluminum company.
The biggest percentage gainers among the blue chips were
, which both reported strong quarterly results before the opening bell.
Caterpillar shares rose 2.07% to $111.31. This company reported
of $2.23 a share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.73.
Caterpillar guided to 2012 revenue of between $68 billion and $72 billion and profit of about $9.25 a share. Analysts forecast 2012 profit of $9.07 a share.
gives Caterpillar a
with a buy rating and a price target of $122.14.
Shares of 3M increased 1.27% to $87.58. Fourth-quarter profit of $954 million, or $1.35 a share,
. The company's fourth-quarter sales rose 5.7% to $7.1 billion.
3M receives a
with a buy rating and $99.10 price target.
Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York
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