NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday on continued eurozone debt contagion worries and lackluster domestic economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 156.06 points, or 1.24%, to close at 12,442.49. The S&P 500 dropped 19.94 points to settle at 1,304.86 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 60.35 points to finish at 2,813.69. Breadth within the Dow was negative with 24 of the index's 30 components posting losses. The biggest decliners in the Dow were Caterpillar ( CAT), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Boeing ( BA) and Home Depot ( HD).
Shares of Caterpillar lost 4.42% to $87.80 on about double the stock's average daily trading volume. The construction company's dealers reported slowing growth in heavy equipment sales in April with total volume up 12%, which is down from 18% at the end of March on a rolling three-month basis. The regions hit hardest were Asia and Latin America. The stock has declined 3.09% year to date. JPMorgan shares dropped 4.31% to $33.93 on more than double its average daily trading volume. The size of the loss that the bank expects to incur from its credit derivatives trade gone bad has reportedly swelled to $3 billion. In addition, CEO Jamie Dimon is now expected to testify later this month before the Senate Banking Committee about the trading loss. JPMorgan's stock has risen 2.05% year to date. Shares of Home Depot fell 3.59% to $47.02 on about 1.5 times the stock's average daily trading volume. The stock has risen 11.85% year to date. Boeing shares dropped 3.62% to $69.73 on nearly double the stock's average daily trading volume. Reuters reported Wednesday that Southwest Airlines ( LUV) is deferring its deliveries of 30 Boeing 737-800 planes. The stock has fallen 4.94% year to date. The biggest gainer in the blue-chip index is Wal-Mart ( WMT). Shares rose 4.21% to $61.68 on more than double its average daily trading volume The retailer reported Thursday first-quarter earnings of $3.74 billion, or $1.09 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $3.39 billion, or 97 cents a share. On average, analysts anticipated earnings of $1.04 a share. -- 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: email@example.com. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.