Chain store sales are strong. The productivity of U.S. workers is improving even more then previously reported. The lines at the unemployment office are shrinking. The price of oil is going down. Still, stock prices slipped today.
Wall Street's excuse for the unexpectedly disappointing response to a batch of positive economic news was speculation that Intel, the computer chip maker, plans to back off on its projection of sales growth.
Intel was expected to make an announcement after the bell, but the market took its lead from two analysts who follow the company very closely.
Both are predicting that Intel will lower the top end of the range of estimates it has given for second quarter sales. Instead of $8.2 billion, the highest estimate will be cut to $8 billion or $8.1 billion the analysts estimate.
Although the change amounts to no more than a couple of percentage points in what is no more than a mid-quarter estimate of sales, Intel stock fell about 50 cents. Other chip and computer stocks fell along with it and soon the whole market was moving south.
Intel led the list of declining stocks in both the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, the Nasdaq 100 index -- made up of the 100 largest companies traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market -- and several computer and technology indexes.
The S&P 500 closed down more than 8 points at 1,116.64.
The Nasdaq Stock Market composite index lost nearly 29 points to end the day at 1,960.26.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 67 points to 10,195.91.
Today's government report adjusting productivity upward and the weekly update on new applications for unemployment benefits both continued trends that are considered positive for the economy and the stock market.
The monthly sales reports from major retail chains, however, came with upside surprises. Both Nordstom and JC Penney reported that sales of stores that have been open at least a year were up more than 9 percent.
The International Council of Shopping Centers calculated that total May sales for 78 major chains increased by 5.7 percent. A survey by the trade association found that 75 percent of consumers say higher gasoline prices have not had any impact on their spending.
Gasoline and crude oil futures both fell again today in response to reports that OPEC is encouraging oil-producing nations to increase their oil production. Crude dropped 68 cents a barrel to $39.28, its lowest level in three weeks.