Stocks edged down on a disappointing labor market data.

The DJIA fell 23.54 points, or 0.20 percent, to 11,731.90; the S&P 500 index slipped 2.20 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,283.76; and the Nasdaq composite shed 2.04 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,735.29

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims last week rose by 35,000 to 445,000 from the prior to its highest level since October and above expectations.

The Labor Department also said that December wholesale prices rose due to higher energy and food costs.

Pharma heavyweight Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) plunged 6.62 after reporting that clinical trials of its experimental cardiovascular drug vorapaxar will be halted patients who previously suffered a stroke.

Bonds rose, oil and gold futures dropped 0.80 percent to 0.90 percent.