Indices closed in the red zone on Thursday. Stocks slipped on a variety of economic news. Real GDP expanded at a 2.6% pace in the fourth quarter versus expectations of 2.2% growth. The result was down from 3.4% expansion in the third quarter. On another note, initial jobless claims increased last week. Department of Labor data showed first-time claims rose by 8,000 to 225,000 in the week ended February 23. Looking elsewhere, J.C. Penney jumped 23.4% today following the release of stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.