US STOCKS-Wall St drops after another Japan earthquake

* Japan ETF, Nikkei futures fall on quake news

* Costco, Macy’s sales strong, shares rise; Gap falls

* Jobless claims fall slightly more than expected

* Indexes down: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday, adds Japan earthquake, changes byline)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Thursday
shortly after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 hit Japan
and a tsunami warning was issued.

For details, see [ID:nDYE7EA00Y]

The iShares MSCI Japan Index ETF (EWJ.P: Quote, Profile, Research) dropped 0.6
percent in midday trading while Nikkei futures (NKc1: Quote, Profile, Research) slid 1.1
percent. U.S.-listed shares of Toyota Motor Corp (TM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) fell
0.4 percent.

The news “seems to be generating a bit of jitteriness and
has caused people to take a bit of profit,” said Nick Kalivas,
senior equity index analyst at MF Global in Chicago. “In a
couple hours from now, if it looks like damage is minimal, the
market will go back to trading economics as opposed to

On March 11 the country was hit by a massive quake that
created a tsunami. Officials have said after those disasters
12,554 were confirmed dead, with another 15,000 missing. The
events also sparked a crisis with some nuclear plants that
still hasn’t been resolved.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 46.55
points, or 0.37 percent, at 12,380.20. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 2.77 points, or 0.21 percent, at
1,332.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 4.49
points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,795.33.

Stocks had been mostly flat prior to the news of the quake,
with technical resistance on the S&P 500 preventing further
gains after a larger-than-expected drop in weekly jobless
claims and March retail sales that were better than expected.

Among retailers, Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O: Quote, Profile, Research) beat
expectations and its shares gained 3.4 percent to $77.55.
Macy’s Inc (M.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.9 percent to $25.6 while Gap Inc
(GPS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 1.9 percent to $22.63.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Kenneth

US STOCKS-Wall St drops after another Japan earthquake