Dow falls again as US jobless claims tick higher

Dow falls again as US jobless claims tick higher

Credit: AFP Photo

Wall Street stocks were mostly lower early Thursday following two straight declines on signs the latest uptick in coronavirus cases is dragging down the economic recovery.

The Labor Department reported a sharp increase in new filings for unemployment benefits last week, with the number topping estimates.

The data came as United Airlines reported more flight cancellations from consumers because of Covid-19 and after New York City temporarily suspended classroom teaching at public schools because of the virus.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent at 29,386.49.

The broad-based S&P 500 also shed 0.2 per cent to 3,562.12, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 11,801.93.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 ended at records on Monday, but have fallen the last two days amid worries over Covid-19 cases.

Stocks have been boosted by hopes that coronavirus vaccines will support a recovery in 2021.

In the latest positive development, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca said Thursday their vaccine candidate was shown to safely produce a robust immune response in healthy older adults.