Stocks stumbled Thursday as investors failed to take much heart in U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes that suggested help is on the way.
Minutes of the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting released Wednesday included strong wording indicating stimulus measures would be taken if the economy did not improve soon.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims rose by 4,000 in the week that ended Saturday to 368,000.
Economic researchers at Markit said manufacturing activity shrank in the eurozone in August, although the pace of contraction was slower than July. In the United States, manufacturing remained positive, with expansion slightly accelerated compared to July.
In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gave up 119.52 points or 0.91 points to 13,053.24, putting a six-week rally in further jeopardy.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index lost 23.79 points or 0.77 percent to 3,049.88. The Standard and Poor's 500 shed 11.72 points or 0.83 percent to 1,401.77.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 8/32, yielding 1.668 percent.
The euro rose to $1.2566 from Wednesday's $1.2529. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 78.48 yen from 78.59 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 255 index rose 0.51 percent, adding 46.38 points to 9,178.12.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was flat, up 0.04 percent or 2.40 points to 5,776.60.