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U.S. stocks open slightly lower after data; Dow Jones down 0.16%

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. stocks opened moderately lower on Thursday, after the release of relatively positive U.S. jobless claims and retail sales reports, as equity markets remained under pressure after the World Bank decided to lower its outlook for global economic growth.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 slipped 0.16%, the S&P 500 edged down 0.19%, while the NASDAQ Composite shed 0.30%.

The Labor Department reported that the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to 317,000. The consensus forecast had been for a decline of 3,000.

The unexpected increase in jobless claims was not seen as altering the view that the labor market is continuing to gradually improve.

At the same time, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, falling short of expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, eased up 0.1% in May, disappointing forecasts for a 0.2% increase. Core sales in April were revised up to 0.4% from a previously reported flat reading.

Late Tuesday, the World Bank said tensions in Ukraine and bad weather in the U.S. weighed on global economic expansion in the first half of 2014 and estimated the global economy would grow 2.8% this year, down from a previous forecast of 3.2% made in January.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) dipped 0.06% after saying it plans another round of lobbying meetings with French officials on its $17 billion offer for Alstom (PARIS:ALSO)'s energy assets. (NASDAQ:AMZN) dropped 0.92% as Universal Music said the online retailer's offer in exchange for access to a selection of their catalog was too low. Amazon unveiled on Wednesday night a new music streaming service to compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Spotify and Pandora Media (NYSE:P).

Elsewhere, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) inched up 0.06% after the chipmaker lost its challenge against a record €1.06 billion fine handed down by European Union antitrust regulators five years ago for blocking rival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD).

In a 2009 decision, the European Commission had said that Intel tried to thwart AMD by giving rebates to PC makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), as well as Japan's NEC (TOKYO:6701) and Lenovo (HK:0992) for buying most of their computer chips from Intel.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), scheduled to release first-quarter results later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mostly lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.21%, France's CAC 40 eased up 0.01%, Germany's DAX slipped 0.19%, while Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.08%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.35%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.64%. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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