NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks ended lower as an early rise from better jobless figures faded. The Dow Jones industrial average closed just below 10,000.
The Dow had been up as much as 45 points earlier Thursday after first-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week after three straight weekly gains.
Traders turned their attention to lingering problems with the economy and a speech coming up Friday by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 74, or 0.7 percent, to 9,986. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 8, or 0.8 percent, to 1,047, while the Nasdaq fell 23, or 1.1 percent, to 2,119.
Falling stocks outpaced rising ones two-to-one on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1 billion shares.
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