Job worries persist on Wall Street

May 21, 2009 2:17:13 PM PDT
Another bad signal from the job market and anxiety over a possible downgrade of British government debt sent stocks sharply lower Thursday. A report that claims for unemployment benefits set a record for the 16th straight week is causing the market to reconsider its optimism over early signs of recovery in the economy.

Investors are also worrying about how well governments can keep up with public spending to stimulate their economies after Standard & Poor's said Britain may have its rating cut because of rising debt levels.

At the close, the Dow is down 130 to 8,292. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 15 to 888, and the Nasdaq composite index is down 32 to 1,695.

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