U.S. stock markets headed lower Thursday with investors keeping an eye on the financial sector and the weekly job report.
The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged in the week with 370,000 filed. The four-week rolling average dropped by almost 5,000 claims to 375,000.
Recent losses at JPMorganChase from market bets stand at $2 billion, but estimates are growing. The losses, plus dour news on banking from Europe have taken a toll on the financial sector. Moody's Investors Service said Spanish banks would have their credit ratings lowered. Rival credit rating agency Fitch has said banks around the world will need to raise $566 billion to meet new regulatory demands.
In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 77.39 points, or 0.61 percent, to 12,521.16. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 36.88 points, or 1.29 percent, to 2,837.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 10.47 points, 0.79 percent, to 1,314.33.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note rose 15/32 to yield 1.715 percent.
The euro rose to $1.272 from Wednesday's $1.2716. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.28 yen from Wednesday's 80.33 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.86 percent, 75.42, to 8,876.59.
In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.24 percent, 66.87 points, to 5,338.38.