Stocks dipped at the open today, thanks to a sharp jump in jobless claims and more negative corporate news. The Dow fell 119 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq dropped 1.2% and 1.5% respectively, after the Labor Department announced that new unemployment claims hit a 26-year high last week. Costco, meanwhile, reported flat first-quarter net income, and Procter & Gamble slashed its sales outlook.
Eli Lilly & Co. warned that it would post a net loss for the year, but because that was due mostly to its $6.5 billion ImClone acquisition, investors gave it a pass, sending the stock up 1%. The weakness in stocks, meanwhile, sent Treasuries down to nearly historic lows, with the two-year note yielding just 0.83%.