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Higher Jobless Claims Send Stocks Down

Stocks are opening slightly lower after the government says more people are applying for unemployment benefits.

The Labor Department said 445,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up from a revised total of 410,000 the previous week. It was the highest level since late October. Many retailers eliminated temporary holiday workers, driving the increase.

A separate report showed that wholesale prices in December rose by the largest amount in nearly a year, as a result of higher energy and food costs.

At the opening Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 8 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,746. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 1, or 0.1 percent, at 1,286. The Nasdaq composite index is down 5, or 0.2 percent, at 2,732.

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