Thursday Morning: Stocks Lower, Wal-Mart Sales Sag

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock prices are lower at the open as investors look over the latest economic data.

Bad news from retailers — even Wal-Mart — is taking a toll on Wall Street this morning.

The report from the nation's largest retailer that December sales at stores open for at least a year were worse than expected shows that even the stronger retailers struggled during the Christmas shopping season.

One bit of good news could mitigate things in the market. The Labor Department says initial applications for unemployment insurance dropped by 24,000 last week. Economists were expecting an increase.

This program aired on January 8, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.