Stocks fell Thursday but closed well off their lows as investors set aside some of their concerns about Greece's rising debt. The recovery came as the dollar pulled back from an early spike.
An unexpected rise in first-time claims for unemployment insurance added to the sour mood that dominated early trading and raised concerns the labor market will worsen. The Labor Department said jobless benefits claims rose by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000. It was the second straight week claims rose unexpectedly. According to Reuters, a department analyst said snowstorms may have kept some workers sidelined and could have delayed the processing of claims.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 10,321.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 2.31, or 0.2 percent, to 1,102.93. The Nasdaq composite index fell 1.68, or 0.1 percent, to 2,234.22.- AP