Stocks Fall on Investors' Jitters Over Economy, Jobless Claims

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Major market indices were lower Thursday morning as investors digested Wednesday's comments from the Federal Reserve on the nation's economic recovery and Thursday's jobless claims data that showed a rise from the week prior.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 108 points, or 0.39%, to 27,584, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5% and the Nasdaq was down 0.4%.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said “the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term."

 The Labor Department reported Thursday that 1.106 million Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits for the week ended Aug. 15, up from a revised 963,000 claims the week earlier. However, continuing claims, which are the number of people not just filing but staying on unemployment benefits, came in lower than the week prior.

"With less jobs available for the enormous numbers of people still losing their jobs, it will be a long time until the labor market is back to what it once was," said Indeed Hiring Lab Economist Ann Elizabeth Konkel.

China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday that Beijing and Washington have agreed to hold a call soon to discuss the progress of their phase one trade agreement. 

There are 22.4 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with 5.5 million in the United States. The U.S. has seen more than 173,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

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