News Summary: Late fade takes Dow down

News Summary: Stock market closes lower after a muddled day of trading

Associated Press

RARE DROP: Signs of a slowing economy combined with comments from a Federal Reserve official helped pull the stock market down Thursday. It was only the third drop for the S&P 500 index this month.

THE NEWS: Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic region. Wal-Mart Stores sank after warning of weaker earnings ahead.

FINAL SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.47 points to 15,233.22, a loss of 0.3 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 8.31 points to 1,650.47, or 0.5 percent. Both indexes closed at record highs the day before. It was only the third drop this month for the S&P.

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