U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday on news that growth in Chinese trade slowed in September.

The S&P 500 Index fell 11.87 points, or 0.98 percent, to trade at 1,195.38 at 10:01 a.m. ET.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 100.28 points, or 0.87 percent, to trade at 11,418.57.  The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.33 percent.

The Chinese government reported that September exports grew 17.1 percent from the same period last year and imports rose 20.9 percent. In August, the growth for exports was 24.5 percent and growth for imports was 30.2 percent.

China is the second largest economy in the world and the biggest exporter in the world. That trade growth is slowing down for China reflects the sluggishness of the global economy.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the U.S. government reported that initial jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 8 came in at 404,000, which is slightly higher than last week's figure.

Before the market opened, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) reported third quarter earnings of $1.02 per share, which exceeded expectations.

However, it was boosted by $0.29 per share from an accounting gain related to the value of the company's liabilities.

All things considered, we believe the firm's returns were reasonable given the current environment, CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

JPMorgan shares, however, are down 4.88 percent.