Tech stocks weigh on Wall Street

Stocks on Wall Street closed lower on Thursday after worst-than-expected report on jobless claims pointed to a fragile recovery in the labor market and a decline in tech stocks, such as Apple and Facebook, weighed the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq with Facebook shares dropping 1.5% as Wall Street assessed the wider ramifications of its move to block all news content in Australia.

The Dow and the S&P both closed down about 0.40%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.72%.

Progress in the vaccination rollout plus strong earnings and hopes of a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package had helped U.S. stock indexes again hit record highs earlier in the week. But after a months-long rally, Thomson Reuters Stocks Buzz analyst Terence Gabriel says the market could now be at a turning point.

"The conditions are there in terms of overly bullish sentiment, a lot of complacency, very overheated internal measures and market momentum measures. So, the conditions are there for the market to be at an important turning point. So certainly, we have to watch the way any kind of decline starts to develop in terms of how broad it is."

Meanwhile, retail giant Walmart slid 6.5% after missing quarterly profit estimates and forecasting a slowdown in sales and profits for the year.

Thursday's action on Wall Street came as the heads of online broker Robinhood, and hedge funds were being grilled by lawmakers in Washington over the GameStop saga, which saw retail investors drive up the video-game company's stock, hitting hedge funds who had been betting against the company.