U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday after applications for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly, overshadowing a rise in August personal spending.

Key manufacturing and housing data are due shortly after the open.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 41.34 points, or 0.43 percent, to 9,670.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 5.60 points, or 0.53 percent, to 1,051.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 14.06 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,108.36.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)