Stocks sag on jobless claims

Stocks sag on jobless claims
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U.S. stock markets sagged in early trading on Thursday following a worse-than-expected report on initial unemployment claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 180 points, or 0.7 percent, and the S&P 500 fell 24 points, or 0.8 percent.

The Labor Department earlier in the day announced 1.3 million seasonally adjusted new claims for unemployment benefits were filed for the week ending July 11. Without seasonal adjustment, however, the data showed an increase of more than 100,000 claims to 1.5 million.

The elevated numbers reflect a slew of states backtracking on reopening amid severe coronavirus outbreaks.

Thursday's drop represents a pullback from a generally strong week in which markets seemed to brush off news of the rapidly expanding outbreak.