North American stocks opened lower on Thursday morning, as investors weigh rising borrowing costs in Spain against an upbeat report on U.S. initial jobless claims.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26 points or 0.2 per cent, to 13,049 – putting the blue-chip index on track for its third consecutive decline. The broader S&P 500 fell 2 points or 0.1 per cent, to 1,397. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index fell 33 points or 0.3 per cent, to 12,145.
In Spain, bond yields rose to their highest levels since mid-December as markets grow increasingly concerned that the indebted country is running into financial problems.
However, the U.S. Labor Department reported that last week’s initial jobless claims fell to a four-year low of 357,000, which was in line with expectations.
U.S. telecom stocks were among the hardest hit, with AT&T Inc. down 1.9 per cent and Verizon Communications Inc. down 1.8 per cent. Cisco Systems Inc. fell 1.2 per cent and General Electric Co. fell 0.7 per cent.
Home Depot Inc. rose 0.9 per cent and Bank of America Corp. rose 0.6 per cent.
Among Canadian stocks, commodity producers remained weak: Suncor Energy Inc. fell 1.3 per cent and Barrick Gold Corp. fell 0.4 per cent.