The U.S. stock market tracked losses of European markets as China's CPI report sparked concerns about inflation and the steps the nation's government may take to combat it.
The S&P 500 Index is down 5.43 points, or 0.47 percent, to trade at 1,140.18 at 9:56 am EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 53.81 points, or 0.51 percent, to trade at 10,513.52.
Basic materials stocks were hit hard, with the Dow Jones U.S. Basic Materials Index falling 1.07 percent.
Metals stocks are down as Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) declined 1.27 percent and the American Depository Receipts of Vale (NYSE:VALE) declined 1.71 percent.
Although major U.S. indices are currently down, they have exhibited the tendency in recent sessions to rally from morning losses.
During the Asian session, China reported higher than expected inflation data for February, increasing concerns of inflation and the expectation of a rate hike in the near future.
While economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected an increase of 2.5 percent, the reported consumer prices increased 2.7 percent.
At 8:30 am EST, the Department of Labor reported that unemployment claims declined 6,000 to 462,000 for the week ending on February 27. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected claims to be 460,000.
The U.S. trade deficit also unexpectedly narrowed for January on declining oil imports.
European markets are currently down on Thursday and most Asian markets, despite worries of China's monetary policy, closed at slightly gains.