Stocks stumbled Thursday morning as investors failed to take much heart in U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes that suggested help was on the way.
Minutes of the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting released Wednesday included strong wording indicating stimulus measures would be taken if the economy did not improve soon.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims rose by 4,000 in the week ending Saturday to 368,000.
Economic researchers at Markit said manufacturing activity shrank in the eurozone in August, although the pace of contraction was slower than July. In the United States, manufacturing remained positive, with expansion slightly accelerated compared to July.
In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gave up 72.66 points or 0.55 percent to 13,100.10, putting a six-week rally in further jeopardy.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index lost 15.33 points or 0.5 percent to 3,058.34. The Standard and Poor's 500 shed 5.98 points or 0.42 percent to 1,407.51.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 6/32, yielding 1.675 percent.
The euro rose to $1.2565 from Wednesday's $1.2529. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 78.42 yen from 78.59 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 255 index rose 0.51 percent, adding 46.38 points to 9,178.12.
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