NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks tumbled on Thursday the most in a month as fears about China's slowing economy and the crisis in Ukraine gripped investors, and outweighed an increase in retail sales. 

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 230 points, or 1.4%, to 16,110.08, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.2% to 1,846.35. The Nasdaq slumped 1.5% to 4,260.42.
  • U.S. February retail sales increased 0.3% vs. expectations of a 0.2% rise. Initial jobless claims in the week ended March 8 fell 9,000 to 315,000 vs. expectations of a rise to 330,000. The four-week moving average also fell, down 6,250 to 330,500.
  • Goldman Sachs cut its first-quarter GDP estimate for the U.S. by two-tenths to 1.5%. "Although February retail sales rose a bit more than expected, negative back revisions more than offset the front-month surprise," Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said in a note.
  • International markets were mostly lower. The DAX in Germany was off 1.86%, the FTSE in London was down 1.01%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.67%, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed lower by 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite finished up 1.07%.
  • The stream of lackluster Chinese data continued. Figures overnight showed Chinese industrial output in January-February rose 8.6% from a year earlier but was down from 9.7% in December. Retail sales for the same period were also higher, but failed to meet expectations.
  • In Ukraine, lawmakers have voted unanimously to create a National Guard of 60,000 or more volunteers amid their worries that Russian troops have amassed themselves near the border between the two countries, and ahead of a Sunday referendum in Crimea on whether citizens want to join Russia. Pro-Russian forces are currently in control of Crimea.
  • Amazon (AMZN) tacked on 0.23% after the retail giant said that it was hiking the price of its Prime service for existing regular members to $99 from $79.
  • Plug Power (PLUG) surged 17.8% Thursday after the maker of fuel cells reported a narrowing of adjusted fourth-quarter loss to an in-line 8 cents a share on stronger-than-expected revenue of $8 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting revenue of $7.45 million. Sales orders for 2014 have already exceeded $60 million, the company said. Williams-Sonoma (WSM) gained 9.8% after it forecast same-store sales growth of 5% to 7% this year, beating expectations.
  • Krispy Kreme (KKD) was up 1.2% after it forecast adjusted earnings per share of 73 cents to 79 cents in fiscal 2015.
  • General Electric (GE) decreased 1.6% after announcing that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the IPO of its North American Retail Finance business.
  • JetBlue Airways (JBLU) added 0.69% after revealing that it has agreed to sell its wholly- owned subsidiary LiveTV to Thales Group for $400 million.


-- By Jane Searle and Andrea Tse in New York

If you liked this article you might like

Forecast for S&P 500, Dow Industrials Remains Bullish, These Charts Show

Dow 20,000! It Should Mean Nothing to Investors, but Then Again...

Tradebird Investors Are Bullish on U.S. Stocks but Bearish on the Euro

Why Home Depot and Boeing Stock Fell Tuesday