Stocks Opened Lower After Jobless Claims Data

U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday as jobless claims last week were in line with expectations and investors awaited data on the housing and manufacturing sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 55.30 points, or 0.38%, to 14,456.43. The S&P 500 index shed 6.12 points, or 0.39%, to 1,552.59. The Nasdaq Composite lost 19.00 points, or 0.58%, to 3,235.19.

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week, but a trend reading dropped to its lowest in five years and pointed to ongoing healing in the labor market. The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, which was less than analysts had expected.

Yoga wear maker Lululemon Athletica is reporting fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations. Lululemon reported that its fourth-quarter net income rose 49 percent to $109.4 million, or 75 cents per share, from $73.5 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue for the period ended Feb. 3 climbed 31 percent to $485.5 million from $371.5 million.

Google Inc’s YouTube said 1 billion unique users were now visiting the video-sharing website every month, or nearly one out of every two people on the Internet.

Struggling drug company AstraZeneca PLC says it will cut some 2,300 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring plan. The company said Thursday the cuts are in addition to a previously announced program cutting 1,600 positions related to research and development announced March 18 and the elimination of 1,150 positions announced last year.

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