Stocks Started Lower on European Worries

U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, as worries about European debt overshadowed the latest U.S. job figures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 33.53 points to 13,041.22. The S&P 500 shed 1.89 points to 1,397.07. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.01 point to 3,068.08.

Greece on Thursday extended to April 20 the deadline for a last batch of private investors who own some €8 billion ($10.5 billion) worth of its bonds to voluntarily join a massive swap deal and accept a deep cut in the value of their holdings.

The number of Americans lining up for new jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly four years last week, according to a government report that showed ongoing healing in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the lowest since April 2008, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Costco Wholesale Corp.’s revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 6 percent in March, but missed Wall Street’s expectations. Costco reported a 7percent rise in the metric overseas and a 6 percent gain in the U.S. The wholesale club operator said Thursday that total revenue for the five weeks ended April 1 rose 10 percent to $9.13 billion.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) said Thursday it will reduce its annual alumina production capacity by approximately 390,000 metric tons to avoid alumina oversupply in the Atlantic region.

PPG Industres (NYSE:PPG) said Thursday its latest cost-cutting moves will affect about 2,000 positions, but the company said its first-quarter profit will beat Wall Street targets after breaking out one-time costs.

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