U.S. stocks erased their initial advance and turned lower on Thursday as declines in telecoms and biotech stocks offset optimism from a sharp fall in the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slid 7.03 points, or 0.08 percent, to 9,273.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 2.69 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,000.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dipped 10.51 points, or 0.53 percent, to 1,982.54.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)