Stocks book fourth day of losses on economic slowdown fears

United Airlines, Delta Air Lines warn on revenue as delta cases rise

Stocks fell for the fourth straight day Thursday as investors continued to assess the strength of the economic recovery amid the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 151 points, or 0.43%, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.46% and 0.25%, respectively. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 extended their losing streaks to four days as the Nasdaq lost ground for a third straight session.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34811.07 +46.25 +0.13%
SP500 S&P 500 4456.01 +7.03 +0.16%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15038.491635 -13.75 -0.09%

In economic data, initial jobless claims last week fell to a pandemic-era low of 310,000. The data was good news for a market that was still digesting the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a survey of business conditions across the U.S, which was released Wednesday and said economic activity slowed over the summer as the COVID-19 delta variant spread across the country.

In stocks, United Airlines Holdings Inc. warned Thursday that quarterly revenue will fall 33% from a year ago as the delta variant has resulted in weaker travel demand. Capacity is expected to be at least 28% below year-ago levels, worse than the previous forecast of a more than 26% decline.   

Rival Delta Air Lines Inc. said adjusted quarterly revenue would be at the low end of its prior guidance.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES, INC. 43.50 +0.92 +2.16%

Meanwhile, GameStop Corp. posted a wider-than-expected loss as sales surged 25% from a year ago. The video game retailer did not provide an outlook or take questions on its quarterly conference call. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GME GAMESTOP CORP. 185.22 -5.88 -3.07%

Lululemon beat on both the top and bottom lines as the pandemic-fueled spending boom on athletic apparel showed no signs of slowing down. The company is on track to exceed its 2023 revenue target by the end of this year. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LULU LULULEMON ATHLETICA, INC. 432.40 +0.49 +0.11%

Elsewhere, Cisco Systems Inc. was downgraded to "equal weight" from "overweight" at Morgan Stanley over valuation concerns. The firm raised its price target by $2 to $59 per share.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CSCO CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. 56.77 +0.07 +0.13%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $1.16 to $68.14 a barrel and gold rose $6.70 to $1,797.40 an ounce.

Overseas markets were mostly mixed. 


European trading was choppy, with France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 30 edging up 0.24% and 0.08%, respectively, after the European Central Bank kept rates unchanged and said it would begin to taper its asset purchase plan. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.01%,  

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 2.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.49% amid reports of a further regulatory crackdown by Chinese regulators. Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.57%.