In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013,photo, specialists Joe Parisi, left, and Michael Cacace work at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets were in the red Thursday Dec. 5, 2013 after strong U.S. economic data renewed fears that the Federal Reserve may start cutting its monetary stimulus this month. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK — Stocks are lower on Wall Street as traders worry about weak results from retailers and indications that the Federal Reserve may cut back on its economic stimulus.
It was the market’s fifth straight decline, the longest losing streak since September.
Faster economic growth and a better outlook on hiring made investors anticipate that the U.S. central bank may be getting closer to reducing its huge bond-purchasing program, which has supported financial markets and kept long-term interest rates very low.
Retailers fell after reporting disappointing earnings and sales figures.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 68 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 15,821 today.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,785. The Nasdaq composite fell four points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,033.