U.S. stocks open lower after disappointing jobless claims

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NEW YORK, June 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday after data showed another more than 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 212.58 points, or 0.81 percent, to 25,907.03. The S&P 500 decreased 16.49 points, or 0.53 percent, to 3,097.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 20.57 points, or 0.21 percent, to 9,889.96.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors declined, with both financials and health care down nearly 1 percent in morning trading, leading the losses.

U.S. initial jobless claims registered 1.508 million in the week ending Saturday, down slightly from an upwardly revised 1.566 million in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 1.3 million initial claims for the week.

"It marks 11 consecutive weeks of declines in the claims rate, but suggest claims are leveling off at a level never seen before the Lockdown Recession," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday.

Investors grew nervous of a resurgence of coronavirus infections in several U.S. states.

More than 2.16 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 117,000 deaths as of Thursday morning local time, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. equities closed mostly lower on Wednesday amid coronavirus fears, with the Dow down 170 points. Enditem

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