Stocks Edge Lower After Weak Retail Reports

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks are closing lower on Wall Street after U.S. retailers issued weak forecasts for earnings and claims rose for unemployment benefits.

Wal-Mart, Ross Stores and Limited Brands, the owner of Victoria's Secret, fell Thursday after issuing forecasts that disappointed analysts.

The Dow Jones industrial average wavered between small gains and losses shortly after the opening bell, then moved lower at midmorning. It closed with a loss of 28 points at 12,542.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points to 1,353 and the Nasdaq fell 10 to 2,837.

Stocks have fallen since voters returned President Barack Obama and a divided Congress to power last week. The Dow lost has lost 5 percent since Election Day.

Falling stocks outnumbered rising ones two-to-one. Volume was above average at 3.9 billion shares.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from Opinion

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Amazon's Assault on Grocery Stores Will Have a Profound Impact on Many

Amazon's Assault on Grocery Stores Will Have a Profound Impact on Many

It's Dumb to Think There Aren't Already Monopolies in Big Tech

It's Dumb to Think There Aren't Already Monopolies in Big Tech

Google's EU Battles Are Hardly a Reason to Panic

Google's EU Battles Are Hardly a Reason to Panic