May 31, 2012 / 2:21 PM / 7 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St drops on economic growth worries

* Initial claims rise, ADP below expectations

* GDP revised downward

* Chicago PMI misses estimate

* Indexes off: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P off 0.8 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct (Adds Chicago data)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street fell on Thursday after a slew of economic reports indicating the U.S. economy may have stalled and the euro zone’s debt crisis cast doubt on global growth prospects.

A report by private payrolls processor ADP showed private employers created 133,000 jobs in May, fewer than the expected 148,000 while new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 for the fourth straight weekly increase. The data comes ahead of Friday’s key payrolls report.

Commerce Department data showed economic growth in the United States was slightly slower than initially thought as gross domestic product was revised down to a 1.9 percent annual rate from last month’s 2.2 percent estimate.

Adding to the negative tone, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer declined to 52.7 from 56.2 in April, its lowest level since September 2009 and below Wall Street expectations.

“The markets have become less optimistic and much more accustomed to seeing numbers that are just not impressive,” said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“It is clear the markets are pricing in a substantial slowdown moving forward in terms of GDP growth, employment gains, productivity gains - it’s not encouraging for bulls.”

Energy-related stocks were among the worst performers as crude prices slipped 0.8 percent as signs of a slowing slowing global economy heightened demand worries. The PHLX oil service sector index lost 1.9 percent, weighed down by a 2.9 percent drop in Schlumberger NV to $62.27.

European shares, which had steadied, turned negative after the U.S data. The FTSEurofirst 300 was off 0.5 percent.

The European Central Bank increased pressure for a joint fund to guarantee bank deposits in the euro zone, saying the region needed new tools to fight bank runs as the bloc’s debt crisis drives investors to flee risk.

The increasing concern over the euro zone’s debt crisis coupled with a spate of tepid domestic economic data has put the benchmark S&P index on pace for its worst monthly decline since September.

U.S. equities have been closely linked to the fortunes of the euro, with the 50-day correlation between the currency and the S&P 500 at 0.92. Expectations of an Irish vote in favor of Europe’s fiscal pact helped the euro recover from a near two-year low against the dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 65.39 points, or 0.53 percent, to 12,354.47. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 11.00 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,302.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 31.92 points, or 1.12 percent, to 2,805.44.

Many top retailers reported stronger-than-expected sales in May, as shoppers overcame growing anxiety about the U.S. economy and the job market.

Target Corp advanced 0.9 percent after posting better-than-expected May same-store sales. The Morgan Stanley retail index gained 0.3 percent.

Ciena Corp climbed 7.2 percent to $12.74 after the network equipment company posted a surprise second-quarter adjusted profit.

Joy Global Inc slid 7.2 percent to $54.66 after the mining equipment maker said it expects order rate to moderate and revenue to remain flat for the next few quarters. (Editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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