Stocks Slide On Fiscal Cliff Worries; Retailers Hit

By Scott Stoddard, Investor’s Business Daily

Stocks lost more ground Thursday as fears about a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of this year continued to weigh on the market.

The Nasdaq swooned 1.4%, the S&P 500 slumped 1.2% and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.9%. Volume fell on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq compared to Wednesday, according to preliminary data.

Retailers were among the biggest losers, with IBD’s Retail-Department Stores industry group falling 2% in double its average daily volume.

Department store chain Kohl’s (KSS) plunged 5% in heavy volume, sinking below its 50-day line. The company reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Thursday but said holiday sales will fall short of analysts’ forecasts and that discounts may be needed to lure customers.

Macy’s (M) gave a similar assessment a day earlier, posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings but saying that Superstorm Sandy would hurt Q4 sales.

High-end retailer Nordstrom (JWN) sank 3%, crashing below its 50-day line and ending at the low end of its intraday range, a bearish sign. The stock fell further in post-session trading after the company’s quarterly earnings report disappointed investors.

Elsewhere, generic drugmaker Perrigo (PRGO) slumped 4% in heavy turnover, sinking for a second day following weak first-quarter sales. Perrigo has plunged nearly 9% this week, losing support at its 50-day moving average and slicing through its 200-day line.

Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) sank 3% in heavy volume, falling for the sixth straight session and piercing its 50-day line. However, the distributor of movies and TV shows was up sharply after hours following its quarterly earnings report.

Denmark-based drugmaker Novo Nordisk (NVO) was among the few gainers, soaring 7% in massive volume. The stock bounced off support at its 200-day line and retook its 50-day line.

Novo has recouped all of its losses from a 9% plunge Tuesday, sparked when the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the safety of its long-acting insulin medicine, degludec.

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