Published: Aug 04, 2011 10:29 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 04, 2011 9:29 PM EDT

The Dow has dropped more than 500 points, erasing all of the years gains. Concerns about the American economy continue to plague the markets.

Traders blame the sluggish economy and high unemployment. But traders don't expect to see  much of change when the Labor Department releases its monthly job report Friday. The last two reports have seen the nation's unemployment numbers rise to 9.2 percent.That has many investors worried the U-S may head back into a recession. Stocks have dropped for nine of the past 10 trading sessions.

Traders had hoped Wall Street would be more upbeat once Washington agreed to raise the debt ceiling. Add to that, volatility in the global market. European stocks have continued to slide over concerns that Italy and Spain may need bailouts from the European union.

While consumers are cutting back on spending, several retailers, enjoying robust back to school sales, walked away from Thursday's turmoil unscathed.Stores including Target and Macy's beat Wall Street estimates, but few expect that momentum to continue. Wall Street could be in for another slide when the latest job numbers are released tomorrow.