NEW YORK – Stocks slipped Thursday following a second straight disappointing report on the labor market.
The third quarter began on a disappointing note after the government said initial jobless claims rose last week to 472,000. Economists had forecast claims would fall.
The news on weekly claims comes a day before the government's big monthly employment report. And, it comes just a day after payroll company ADP said private employers didn't ramp up hiring as much as expected last month.
Initial claims have remained well above the levels economists believe would indicate strong jobs growth. Employers are still nervous about the pace of the recovery.
In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 30.38, or 0.3 percent, to 9,746.21. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.93, or 0.3 percent, to 1,027.78, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 6.23, or 0.3 percent, to 2,103.01.