STOCKS DECLINE AGAIN: Stock indexes closed lower Thursday, a third straight decline, after U.S. retailers issued weak forecast for earnings.
WAL-MART: The giant discounter was among retailers that disappointed analysts and investors with a weaker profit outlook. The company's stock slumped $2.59, or 3.6 percent, to $68.72 after it issued a fourth-quarter forecast that fell short of analysts' expectations.
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS: More people filed claims for unemployment benefits, giving investors little cause for cheer, though the Labor Department said the rise was mainly due to the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
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