The Dow and S&P 500 tried to snap a three-day losing streak Thursday but failed in the end, after a bigger-than-expected drop in new unemployment applications failed to soothe economic jitters that have lingered ever since last week's dismal jobs report.
Blue chips fell 150 points. The S&P 500 lost 20. The Nasdaq was down as well - it shed 38 points.
New filings for jobless claims dropped last week to 310,000 that's a fresh low since the health crisis pushed millions out of work last year. The decline came despite a rise in applications by southern states devastated by Hurricane Ida.
But investors are still worried about the downside risks to this economy, says Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities.
"So I think the message from the data is things are getting better, but we've got a lot of work to do and I think that shows up not just if you look at the continuing claims number, which has worked its way down, but still elevated. And clearly the bumpiness that we've seen in the non-farm payroll numbers, especially the last month's report, which clearly disappointed."
Despite the market's overall weakness - there were pockets of strength.
Lululemon, the company that popularized the term "athleisurewear", - smashed quarterly sales and profit forecasts. It also raised its revenue and earnings outlook for the year. Shares of Lululemon surged roughly 10-1/2 percent.
Moderna was another winner. The vaccine maker said it is working on a one-shot COVID-19 vaccine booster and flu vaccine combo. Shares of Moderna jumped nearly 8 percent.
But on the downside: video game stocks. China has temporarily slowed down approval for all new online games, as it tries to halt a gaming addiction among Chinese youth, local media reported. Shares of Activision Blizzard, the U.S. company behind the popular "Call of Duty" game, lost almost 3 percent.