Stocks Continue to Seesaw

Stocks continued to hang on every piece of inflation data Thursday, trading lower after a bigger than expected drop in weekly jobless claims suggested that the job market remains tight.

The sell-off came just a day after stocks rallied on a mixed consumer price report that traders took as evidence that inflation was under control.

At issue is how long the Federal Reserve will continue to wage its rate hike campaign — and how much the economy will slow as a result of those higher interest rates. Traders ignored benign comments Thursday from Philadelphia Fed president Anthony Santomero, who suggested that Fed policy is nearing neutral.

Tech stocks were up for much of the day, but followed blue chips lower in the final half hour of trading.

The Nasdaq slipped 3 to 2279, the S&P 500 lost 4 to 1287, and the Dow fell 68 to 11,069. Volume declined to 2.12 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.79 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 18-14 on the NYSE, and 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 65% on the NYSE, and 52% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 239-21 on the NYSE, and 150-18 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, WebMD and Netease rose on their results.

During the day, , EarthLink , Symbol Tech , Sina , Novatel and Bluefly fell on their results.

Broadwing and Eclipsys rose on their earnings reports.

ADE gained on a takeover offer from KLA-Tencor .

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