(By Balachander) U.S. stocks extended its losses for the fifth consecutive day amid disappointing domestic economic data and persisting worries over the eurozone debt crisis.
S&P 500 Index retreated 1.51 percent to finish at 1,304.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.24 percent to end at 12,442.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 2.10 percent to close at 2,813.69.
On the US economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits held steady last week, a government data showed. Jobless claims remained unchanged at 370,000 last week. The Conference Board's gauge of future U.S. economic activity fell 0.1 percent last month after a 0.3 percent increase in March.
Another report showed that manufacturing in the Philadelphia area unexpectedly contracted in the month of May for the first time in eight months. The Philly Fed's diffusion index of current activity slumped to a negative 5.8 this month from a positive 8.5 in April.
On the European front, Greece said it would hold fresh elections on June 17 after the final talks to form a coalition government failed. The European Central Bank has reportedly withdrawn funding to some Greek banks because they have not been adequately recapitalised.
Spain's medium-term borrowing costs rose sharply on Thursday and speculation of a ratings downgrade by Moody's Investors Service of Spanish banks weighed on European markets.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: FB, WMT, LTD, DLTR, SHLD, AAP, GME, DNDN, MEG
In corporate news, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) priced its initial public offering of about 421 million shares at $38 apiece. The shares are expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on Friday under the symbol "FB."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) gained 4.21 percent after the company's quarterly results topped Street's expectations reflecting the continued strength overseas and rebounding U.S. sales. The company guided second quarter earnings in-line with consensus.
Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE:LTD) fell 4.38 percent after the company guided second quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 to $0.45, below Wall Street's view of $0.50. For the fiscal 2012, the company anticipates earnings of $2.63 to $2.83 per share, while analysts' expect $2.83 per share.
Dollar Tree Inc.