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* Weekly jobless claims rise less than expected
* Walgreens drops after swinging to quarterly loss
* Cisco rises after Morgan Stanley upgrade
* Indexes down: Dow 1.70%, S&P 1.27%, Nasdaq 0.55% (Adds details; Updates prices)
By Medha Singh and C Nivedita
July 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes dropped on Thursday as fears of another lockdown to contain a surge in coronavirus cases overshadowed data pointing to a declining trend in weekly jobless claims.
The Labor Department’s most timely data on the economy showed 1.31 million Americans filed for state unemployment benefits in the latest week, down from 1.43 million in the previous week.
However, the labor market remains fragile as the United States reported more than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, setting a single-day global record.
“We are reaching levels of unemployment that are likely to persist until a more true reopening can occur, either with a vaccine, novel treatment, or time,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia.
A batch of upbeat economic data including the record pace of job additions in June has underscored that the stimulus-fueled domestic economy was on the path to recovery.
The benchmark S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March lows and is now about 7.8% below its February record high. The Nasdaq notched a record close in the prior session and the Dow is about 13.6% from its own February all-time peak.
At 11:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 444.06 points, or 1.70%, at 25,623.22, the S&P 500 was down 40.17 points, or 1.27%, at 3,129.77. The Nasdaq Composite was down 58.12 points, or 0.55%, at 10,434.38.
Cyclical energy and financials lost the most ground among the 11 major S&P sectors trading in the red.
In a bullish signal for near-term momentum, the benchmark S&P 500’s chart formed a “golden cross” pattern, in which its 50-day moving average vaulted above the 200-day moving average.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc tumbled 9.5% after it reported a quarterly loss compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by non-cash impairment charges of $2 billion as COVID-19 disrupted business at its Boots UK division.
Cisco Systems Inc rose 1.3% as Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the network gear maker’s stock to “overweight”.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 4.59-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 4.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 30 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 102 new highs and 26 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta)