By  on August 15, 2013

Good news for the economy is being seen as bad news for the stock market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 1.4 percent, or 216.41 points, to 15,121.25 in just over an hour of trading today after the Labor Department’s report on initial jobless claims pointed to strength in the employment market. First-time jobless claims fell by 15,000 to 320,000 last week, while economists were looking for claims to hold steady.

Stocks are still near their all-time high, making them ripe for a pull back and investors are trying to gauge when the Federal Reserve will see the economy and the job market as strong enough to begin withdrawing its support and allowing interest rates to rise.

But even as the recovery has shown signs of strengthening, retailers have struggled. On Wednesday, Macy’s Inc.'s second quarter missed analysts’ profit estimate for the first time since 2007. And both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. trimmed their earnings guidance for the Street today.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was down 1.6 percent, or 13.37 points, to 818.54.Among those losing ground were Wal-Mart, down 2.4 percent to $74.55; The TJX Cos. Inc., 1.7 percent to $51.09; Inc., 2.1 percent to $285.38; Macy's Inc., 1.3 percent to $45.75, and Target Corp., 1.5 percent to $69.

Kohl’s managed to jump 5.5 percent to $53.63 despite trimming the top end of its full-year earnings forecast. The retailer’s comparable-store sales showed some signs of pep and inched up 0.9 percent in the second quarter following a 2.7 percent drop a year earlier.

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