Stocks fell at the open on Thursday after data showed applications for unemployment insurance rose unexpectedly last week and ahead of speeches on jobs and the economy from U.S. President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 54.41 points, or 0.48 percent, to 11,360.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 6.79 points, or 0.57 percent, to 1,191.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 12.49 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2,536.45.