US stocks opened lower Thursday, as investors continued to digest the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting.
According to the minutes of the Fed's March 15-16 meeting released Wednesday afternoon, many central bank policymakers expressed concerns over a global economic slowdown in their latest meeting.
"Participants agreed that their ongoing assessments of the data and the implications for the outlook, rather than calendar dates, would determine the timing and pace of future adjustments to the stance of monetary policy," said the document.
Some analysts believe the minutes suggested a divided central bank, with many policymakers showing caution toward an interest rate hike in April, while others indicated that it was justified.
On the economic front, in the week ending April 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level to 267,000, below market consensus, the US Labor Department reported Thursday.
The 4-week moving average was 266,750, an increase of 3,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 263,250.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 88.55 points, or 0.50 percent, to 17,627.50. The S&P 500 lost 9.69 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,056.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 29.86 points, or 0.61 percent, to 4,890.85.
On Wednesday, US stocks posted solid gains, as Wall Street assessed the newly-released minutes from the Fed's latest meeting amid a strong recovery in oil prices.