No, Virginia. There is no Santa Claus rally

December 12, 2013: 4:18 PM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Stocks fell for a third straight day Thursday as investors watched some high profile initial public offerings and continued to look for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will wind down its bond buying program.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 100 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also ended lower.

The losses came on the heels of a sharp sell-off Wednesday when investors worried a new U.S. budget deal raised the chance that the Federal Reserve might start to scale back its support for the economy soon.

More economic data has investors attempting to figure out how that would impact the Fed's decisions ahead of its policy meeting next week.

The Department of Labor said initial jobless claims rose to 368,000 last week, higher than what economists were expecting.

Retail sales ticked up from the previous month, according to the Census Bureau, slightly beating Wall Street estimates.

Stocks often enjoy a nice rally in December but after a record-breaking run for the Dow and S&P 500, the so-called Santa Claus rally has yet to materialize. The S&P 500 has fallen 1.5% so far this month.

In another sign that December may not deliver strong returns, CNNMoney's Fear and Greed index, which tracks the VIX (VIX) and six other gauges of market sentiment, slipped into Fear territory. It was in Greed mode just a week ago.

See also: Will the market actually cheer tapering?

What's moving: Hilton Worldwide (HLT) surged over 7% Thursday as the hotel chain began trading on New York Stock Exchange. The hotel chain raised $2.4 billion through an initial public offering. Food services company Aramark (ARMK) also went public, raising $725 million. Shares jumped more than 13%.

Although Hilton's debut went pretty well, one StockTwits trader had mixed feelings on the stock.

"$HLT...Looks like good value but I see disruption happening in this industry," said crosenfield.

But StockTwits user DTB111 was ecstatic about the stock.

"$HLT got Hilton and holding super long! What a great day! " she said.

Shares of Lululemon (LULU) tanked more than 11% after the yogawear producer reported earnings and revenue that beat forecasts, but dimmed its outlook.

But another trader noted the previous ups and downs in the company's stock price and thinks it's a good time to buy.

"amazed if doesn't do what it did that last three times this happened, jump right back up, so always best to buy low.," said T1ST.

Facebook (FB) bounced about 5% after Standard & Poor's announced late Wednesday that the social networking giant will be added to its benchmark S&P 500 index later this month.

"$FB Ready to blast Big," said StockTwits trader OptionTrader.

The social network may also have benefited from its announcement Thursday that users can now send private photos to one another over Instagram. Facebook bought Instagram last year. One trader quipped that Facebook must be nervous about how some younger users may be flocking to rival services generating a lot of buzz ... most notably Snapchat.

"$FB looks desperate and trying everything to keep 'the cool kids' around," said MrWallstreet.

Facebook admitted on its third quarter earnings conference call that it was having trouble keeping teenagers as engaged on the site.

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Dow 17,195.42 221.11 1.30%
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Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 74.11 -1.75 -2.31%
Bank of America Corp... 17.03 0.04 0.24%
Intel Corp 32.58 -1.34 -3.95%
Avon Products Inc 9.97 -0.99 -9.03%
Apple Inc 106.98 -0.36 -0.34%
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