Stocks Extend Losses

U.S. stocks extended losses by midday trade on Thursday with S&P 500 dragging back to near 1500 mark as sentiment was slightly subdued after mixed U.S. economic data.

At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index fell 0.84% the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 0.74% while the S&P 500 Index lost 0.70%.

Most key S&P 500 sectors traded in red territory with tech and consumer discretionary stocks feeling the maximum brunt.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) shares slumped nearly 5.50% by midday trade on Thursday after the company following closing bell on Wednesday provided a disappointing outlook on full-year sales, citing rising competition in beverage industry, which is fast becoming ‘matured’, according to Green Mountain’s Chief Executive Brain Kelley.

News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA) shares edged down nearly 2.5% by last check. The media conglomerate late on Wednesday handed better-than-expected quarterly results but slashed its outlook on full-year  earnings, as several business divisions were expected to underperform, including Fox broadcasting network.

Shares of telecommunication technology and solutions provider, Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE: ALU) plunged nearly 6% by midday trade as the beleaguered company swung into annual losses for fiscal 2012. Meanwhile, Alcatel Lucent’s Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen has decided to resign from his post. The board said that Verwaayen will continue to oversee operations until the Company finds his replacement. The decision to quit the Company comes at a time when Alcatel Lucent is finding hard to survive against rising competition.

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) shares gained 1.41% by midday trade after the health service company’s quarterly earnings edged past Street’s forecast. The insurer also boosted its guidance for the full-year, thanks to cost control measures and expanding membership base.

Professional networking site, LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) is scheduled to report quarterly results.

Elsewhere in Europe, mainly all leading benchmark indexes ended lower with Pan European Stoxx 600 ending down0.22%, FTSE 100 plunging 1.06% while DAX inching up 0.13%.

Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to seasonally adjusted 366,000 for the week ended Feb 2 while productivity in the fourth quarter fell 2% at an annual rate, according to the Labor Department.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.