The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 147.63 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 25,400.64. The S&P 500 was down 6.4 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 3,029.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 43.37 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 9,368.99, Xinhua reported.
Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed lower, with energy down 2.91 per cent, the worst-performing group. Utilities rallied 3.04 per cent, outperforming the rest.
The moves came after data released Thursday by the US Labor Department showed 2.123 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cripple the economy. The previous week”s level was revised higher to 2.446 million.
Over the past 10 weeks, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.
US economic activity in the first quarter contracted at an annual rate of 5 per cent in second estimate, 0.2 percentage point lower than advance estimate, the US Commerce Department reported on Thursday.