U.S. stocks opened lower Thursday after renewed worries over one of top Portugal banks took a toll on European stocks.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 52.88 points, or 0.31 percent, to 16,932.73. The S&P 500 fell 15.71 points, or 0.80 percent, to 1,957.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 66.48 points, or 1.50 percent, to 4,352.55.
The drop came after major stock indices in Europe went down sharply Thursday as investors jittered over Banco Espirito Santo, a leading Portuguese lender, which delayed payments on short-term debt.
U.S. latest jobless claims fell more than expected but it failed to help pull U.S. stocks into positive territory.
In the week ending July 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 304,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week moving average, a smoother gauge, was 311,500, down 3,500 from the prior week.
Major U.S. economic data due out later in the day include the May wholesale trade.
On the previous trading day, Wall Street added earlier gains, recovering from a two-day drop, as the Federal Reserve's minutes of its latest policy meeting gave no surprise to the market.