Stocks Opened Lower on Hawkish Fed Minutes

Stocks opened lower on Thursday as investors appeared to continue to react negatively to Federal Reserve minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately declined 151.14 points, or 0.59%, to 25,555.54. The S&P 500 was off 15.51 points, or 0.55%, to 2,793.70. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 53.99 points, or 0.71%, to 7,588.71.

Oil futures remained under pressure Thursday, in the wake of a rise in domestic crude inventories. November West Texas intermediate crude fell 65 cents, or 0.9%, to $69.10 a barrel, while December Brent crude declined 99 cents, or 1.2%, to $79.06 a barrel.

The number of Americans losing their jobs and applying for unemployment benefits each week remained near a 49-year low in mid-October. Initial jobless claims, one measure of layoffs, dropped by 5,000 to 210,000 in the seven days ended Oct. 13.

Novartis (NVS) announced a $2.1 billion cash acquisition of cancer drugmaker Endocyte (ECYT). The deal will help Novartis expand its radiopharmaceuticals business, according to the company.

Top U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Corp (AA.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday. Excluding certain items, Alcoa earned 63 cents per share, easily topping expectation of 36 cents.

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