U.S. stocks continue slide

Traders work the crude oil options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Feb. 21, 2013, in New York
Mary Altaffer/AP

NEW YORK Stocks closed lower on Wall Street for a second straight day on weak economic data and concern that the Federal Reserve may cut back its bond-buying program.

The government said more people applied for unemployment benefits last week. In Europe, a survey of executives suggested the economy slowed this month.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 46 points to close at 13,880 Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell nine to 1,502. The Nasdaq lost 32 to 3,131.

Wal-Mart (WMT) rose 1 percent after beating analysts' profit forecasts.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) plunged 9 percent after reporting that its loss grew 10 percent on costs related to its new Model S.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 4.2 billion shares, heavier than usual.