US stocks open lower after another spike in jobless claims

Wall Street stocks opened lower Thursday following another spike of jobless claims in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns, offsetting strong results from tech giants.


File photo: AFP

About 15 minutes into the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 1.2 percent to 24,330.61,.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 1.0 percent to 2,910.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.4 percent to 8,881.69.

Another 3.84 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits last week and the total has now passed 30 million in six weeks, according to the Labor Department data.

Those figures came as the European Central Bank predicted the eurozone economy could shrink by five to 12 percent this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

"We are facing an economic contraction of a magnitude and speed that is unprecedented in recent history," European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde said.

Shares of Facebook, Tesla and Microsoft all rose following strong earnings, even as executives warned of a murky outlook due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Among other companies reporting results, McDonald's shed 2.8 percent as it reported a steep decline in March sales and warned of continued weakness in April.

American Airlines plunged 7.8 percent after reporting a $2.2 billion quarterly loss in the wake of a profound industry downturn.