Stocks opened lower on Thursday after data showed the number of new filings for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly, raising fresh uncertainty about the strength of the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 8.31 points, or 0.10 percent, to 8,291.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 1.62 points, or 0.18 percent, to 899.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 3.78 points, or 0.21 percent, to 1,788.56.