Stocks opened down slightly on Thursday after evidence the economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter, underscoring recent equity weakness.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 28.53 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,366.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 2.97 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,317.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 2.83 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,758.55.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)