NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Stocks slumped Thursday as shaky data on employment, housing and manufacturing raised fresh questions about the health of the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 68.65 points, or 0.53%, to 12,964.10. The S&P 500 fell 8.22 points to 1,376.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 23.89 points to 3,007.56. Breadth within the Dow was negative with 27 of the index's 30 components posting losses. The biggest percentage decliners in the index Thursday were McDonald's ( MCD) and Alcoa ( AA).
Shares of McDonald's fell 2.12% to $95.28. The fast food chain is slated to report its first-quarter results on Friday morning. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.23 a share on revenue of $6.54 billion. TheStreet Ratings gives McDonald's an A grade with a buy rating and $128.16 price target. Alcoa shares dropped 1.91% to $9.76. TheStreet Ratings gives Alcoa a C grade and hold rating. Two companies that quarterly results were among the few bright spots for the Dow, Travelers ( TRV) and Verizon ( VZ). Shares of Travelers gained 3.75% to $61.70. The insurance company's first-quarter earnings were $806 million, or $2.02 a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $839 million, or $1.92 a share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.52 a share. TheStreet Ratings gives Travelers a B grade with a buy rating and $68.96 price target. Verizon shares rose 1.3% to $38.15. The telecommunications company reported first-quarter earnings per share of 59 cents, up from year-earlier earnings of 51 cents. Analysts were expecting 58 cents a share. Verizon gets a B- grade with a buy rating and $43.37 price target from TheStreet Ratings. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.