US stocks lower on jobless claims, eurozone data

US stocks opened lower Thursday following weak reports on US jobs and European business activity.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 23.80 points (0.17 percent) at 13,903.74.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 6.51 (0.43 percent) to 1,505.44, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 14.04 (0.44 percent) to 3,150.37.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 362,000 in the week ending February 16, more than the analyst estimate of 358,000.

Analysts also were eying a Markit report that showed the eurozone's purchasing managers index slipping to 47.3 in February from 48.6 the previous month.

"A disappointing report on eurozone business activity is dampening sentiment," said Charles Schwab & Co. in a market comment.

US stocks extended Wednesday's sharp losses following Federal Reserve meeting minutes that highlighted debate over the Fed's bond-purchasing program.