US stocks down as Walmart disappoints

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): Wall Street markets closed lower on Thursday as oil prices stagnated and shares in Walmart fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 40.61 points to 16,413.22.

The S&P 500 closed 9.03 points lower at 1,917.79, while the Nasdaq composite fell 46.53 points to 4,487.54.

Shares in Walmart fell 3% after the company cut its 2017 sales forecast, blaming the strong dollar and the impact of previously announced store closures.

Chevron shares fell 1.8% and Valero Energy dropped 3.8% as the price of crude oil slid downwards.

Brent crude lost 1.7%, falling to $33.92 a barrel, while West Texas crude declined 0.8% to $30.42 a barrel.

Bank shares also declined on Thursday. JP Morgan fell 1.6% and Goldman Sachs fell 2.13%.

Analysts said Wall Street's fall was probably due to investors locking in some profits.

"We've had a pretty significant bounce," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities. "Today is just a bit of profit-taking from those that have benefited from the significant move."