Updated from 12:02 p.m. EDT

Grocery stocks were mixed Friday after the U.S. government said the unemployment rate had reached 8.5%, by some measures the highest rate recorded since 1983.

Adding to Whole Foods' ( WFMI) worries, an analyst at Jeffries downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold, saying that comp sales remain negative and that the company might have trouble cutting its lease expenses. Whole Foods shares ended the day down 1.3% to $18.64 after dipping as low as $18.01.

Elsewhere:

  • Kroger (KR) shares were down 0.1% to $21.66.
  • BJ's Wholesale (BJ) fell 0.4% to $33.41.
  • Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (GAP) rose 2.2% to $6.16.
  • SuperValu (SVU) rose 0.1% to $15.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) rose 0.3% to $53.80.
  • Safeway (SWY) was up 1.6% to $21.18.
  • Costco (COST) rose 1.8 $48.91.
  • Winn Dixie (WINN) finished the day up 3.1% at $10.88.
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