U.S. stocks mostly fell Thursday a day after a sharp rout as investors weighed a weaker-than-expected dip in jobless claims ahead of the keenly awaited May jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 42.61 points to 12,247.5 in the first 20 minutes of trade.
The broader S&P 500 index fell 3.98 points to 1,310.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite struggled higher, gaining 0.14 points at 2,769.33.
"Traders are digesting a dip in weekly initial jobless claims and an upward revision to first-quarter productivity," Charles Schwab analysts said in a client note.
Unemployment Data Falls Short of Expectations
The Labor Department reported initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 422,000 in the week ending May 28 -- a decrease of 6,000 from the prior week -- but the decline was fell short of expectations.
All eyes will be on the Labor Department's May employment data Friday. The consensus estimate for the net nonfarm jobs created was slashed to 169,000 Thursday from 185,000 the prior day.
The unemployment rate, determined by a separate household survey conducted by the Labor Department, was seen holding unchanged at 9.0% from April.
In a separate report, the Labor Department unexpectedly raised its estimate of first-quarter productivity growth to 1.8%. Most analysts had expected it would be unrevised at 1.6%.
Stocks rebounded from Wednesday's steep sell-off that had been driven by grim jobs and manufacturing data revealing deep weaknesses in the U.S. economy.
Joy Global Raises 2011 View
In morning trading, Joy Global Inc. paced the IW 50 Best Manufacturing Companies index after its second-quarter earnings numbers topped analysts' estimates.
Joy Global said its second-quarter earnings rose 34%. The Milwaukee-based manufacturer of mining equipment boosted its 2011 earnings-per-share forecast by 20 cents to $ 5.30 to $5.60 and raised its revenue forecast by $100 million to between $4.1 billion and $4.3 billion.
At 10:53 a.m. EST, shares of Joy Global were up 6.18% to $91.19.
Josh Cable contributed to this story. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011.