There was good news from the retail sector on Thursday: The government reported higher consumer spending for July, and big retailers like Costco and Target reported strong August sales.
But that wasn't enough to impress investors. They sent stocks down, worried that high gas prices and flat employment prospects will force people to cut back on spending as soon as the back-to-school season is over.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 106.77 points, or 0.8 percent, to 13,000.71.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 11.01 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,399.48.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 32.48 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,048.71.
For the week:
The Dow is down 157.26 points, or 1.2 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 11.65 points, or 0.8 percent.
The Nasdaq composite is down 21.08 points, or 0.7 percent.
For the year:
The Dow is up 783.15 points, or 6.4 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 141.88 points, or 11.3 percent.
The Nasdaq composite is up 443.56 points, or 17 percent.