Stocks opened lower on Thursday as investors turned cautious following a jump in quarterly profit at JPMorgan Chase & Co and a steep fall in jobless claims, a day after Wall Street tallied its biggest three-day gain since March.

Government data showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to their lowest level since January, but the seasonally adjusted data was again distorted by an unusual pattern of automotive industry layoffs that amplified the drop.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 26.60 points, or 0.31 percent, to 8,589.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 4.14 points, or 0.44 percent, to 928.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 7.43 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,855.47.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)