Stock Market Today: Dow ends lower as Walmart slide, energy slump weighs

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Stock Market Today: Dow ends lower as Walmart slide, energy slump weighs
Credit: © Reuters. -- The Dow closed lower Thursday, paced by a slump in Walmart and worries about the economy following a wave of mostly weaker-than-expected economic data. 

At 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 45 points or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.1%.

Walmart guidance falls shot amid worries about consumer strength

Walmart (NYSE: WMT ), the largest retailer in the U.S, lifted its annual guidance, forecasting adjusted EPS of $6.40 to $6.48, but that was short of estimates for EPS of $6.50 and offset quarterly results that beat on the top and bottom lines. Its shares fell more 8%. 

Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey told CNBC that inflation-hit consumers are still continuing to put off larger purchases as they await promotional periods, echoing comments made by fellow retailer Target (NYSE: TGT ) on Wednesday, when it pointed to lingering pressures on consumers from higher interest rates and lower savings. 

Macy’s (NYSE: M ), meanwhile, rose 4%% after the department store chain lifted its full-year guidance following better-than-expected Q3 results.

Cisco, Palo Alto slip as softer guidance bites

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO ) stock fell nearly 10% after the company cut its full-year revenue and profit forecasts in a sign that demand for its networking equipment was slowing.

Still some on Wall Street are willing to give Cisco the benefit of the doubt as the company may benefit from "multiple long-term demand tailwinds," including security and artificial intelligence, Oppenheimer said as it maintained its outperform rating on the company, though cut its price target on the stock to $54 form $58. 

Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW ) stock fell 5% after the cybersecurity company posted solid first-quarter results but issued second-quarter and full-year billing guidance below estimates. 

Weaker economic data shifts focus to slowing economy; shutdown averted

The slew of economy data including higher-than-expected weekly jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed index that beat expectations but still remained in contraction, raising concerns about the pace of slowing in the economy at a time when the Fed is expected to keep rates higher for longer. 

A U.S. government shutdown was averted after the Senate passed a stopgap spending bill late Wednesday and sent it to President Joe Biden to sign into law before a weekend deadline.

Plug Power continues to decline as Citi moves to sidelines

Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG ) slipped nearly 4% after Citi downgraded its rating on the hydrogen company to neutral from buy amid worries that the company's "subpar execution" has fueled liquidity risks. 

Citi estimates that Plug power needs about $500 million of cash over the next six months and believes the company will tap the capital markets for more cash by 3Q next year.

Energy stocks slump as oil prices fall below $73

Energy stocks fell more than 2% after oil prices slipped below $73 a barrel on concerns about demand. 

Chinese refiners processed lower amounts of oil in October than the prior month, adding to concerns about the demand outlook for the world's largest oil importer at a time when slowing global growth is expected to weigh on demand.

Baker Hughes Co (NASDAQ: BKR ), APA Corporation (NASDAQ: APA ), and MPC were among the biggest losers in the sector.

(Liz Moyer, Peter Nurse, and Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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