Stocks Fell Sharply After Jobs Report

Stocks fell sharply in the early trading on Thursday after the government reported an unexpectedly sharp jump in unemployment claims. The Dow Jones industrial average lately dropped 178.46 points, or 1.47 percent, to 11,931.21. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 19.86 points, or 1.54 percent, to 1,267.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 36.66 points, or 1.37 percent, to 2,632.53.

New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000, the Labor Department said. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 420,000.

The U.S. economy continued to grow slightly slower than its long-run average rate in May, according to the Chicago Fed’s national activity index released Thursday. The index increased to negative 0.37 in May from a revised negative 0.56 in April.

Oil is tumbling after the International Energy Agency said it was releasing 60 million barrels of oil to make up for a loss of Libyan exports. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery lost $3.86 to $91.55 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Greece’s new finance minister was negotiating with the country’s international creditors Thursday over the finishing touches of a euro28 billion ($41.6 billion) austerity package that must be passed by Parliament next week if the country is to receive crucial bailout funds.

Apple Inc has removed at Israel’s request an Arabic-language application from its iTunes store that called for a Palestinian uprising, an Israeli government statement said on Thursday.

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