by Marc Bastow | November 15, 2012 5:07 pm
Most of Europe is back in recession, and America apparently isn’t happy to hear it.
The eurozone officially entered a double-dip recession Thursday, when Eurostat’s first reading of gross domestic product for the three months ended in September showed a contraction of 0.1% in the region. The figure comes after a decline of 0.2% in the second quarter and puts the 17-nation currency area in recession for the first time since 2009.
Add in woes on the U.S. jobless front — jobless claims hit an 18-month high of 439,000 in October — and that spelled bad news for the markets. The broader indices fell for a third day in a row, with the Nasdaq off 0.35% to 2,836.94, the Dow Jones down 0.23% to 12,542.46, and the S&P 500 falling 0.16% to 1,353.33.
Weighing heavily on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq was Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which fell more than 2% Thursday. Apple has now lost nearly 11% since the launch of the iPad Mini; the S&P and Nasdaq have shed more than 4% each since then.
Another sector titan, Walmart (NYSE:WMT), fell nearly 4% on the day as revenue fell short of forecasts, with the retailer suggesting currency problems and negative economic conditions contributed to the disappointing results. Walmart was the Dow’s biggest loser. Shares of competitor Target (NYSE:TGT) went the other way, rising just more than 2% after reporting earnings in line with forecasts despite missing revenue targets.
Also in the retail sector, PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) rose over 4% after beating earnings expectations.
Gamemaker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) gained more than 7% as it launched an iOS-friendly version of Ruby Blast Adventures, a game popular among Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users.
And late in the day, Nike (NYSE:NKE) announced a 17% increase in its dividend and a stock split. The company will split its stock 2-for-1 Dec. 24, and will trade at the split-adjusted price starting Dec. 26. The company’s next quarterly dividend, payable Dec. 26 to shareholders of record on Dec. 10, will be 21 cents per share, or a 1.8% annual yield as of today’s closing price.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.
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