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Stocks slip, ending record-breaking rally

A trader works on the floor of the

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for a second day Wednesday, another record finish. (May 8, 2013) Credit: Bloomberg News

The stock market pulled back from record levels Thursday as investors became harder to please.

Even a decline in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits failed to give stock prices a boost. The Standard & Poor's 500 index had its first loss since May 1.

Unemployment claims dropped to a five-year low last week, the Labor department reported early Thursday. That signals fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.

While the report failed to boost stocks, it did give the dollar a lift. The U.S. currency climbed against most major currencies and traded above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years. The Japanese currency has weakened dramatically this year due to the Bank of Japan's massive monetary stimulus.

An improvement in hiring at U.S. employers has been one of the key factors that pushed stocks up to record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday and is on track to notch six straight months of gains.

The Dow fell 22.50 points to 15,082.62. The S&P 500 index dropped 0.37 percent to 1,626.67.

The Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, fell 0.12 percent 3,409.17.

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