Stocks fell on Thursday following a rise in weekly jobless claims that added to concerns about an impending economic slowdown, while Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for the S&P 500 index.

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the latest week and remained at elevated levels. Gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate and down from analysts' expectations for more robust growth.

In a sign of rising concern about the economic outlook, Goldman Sachs cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 index to 1,450 from 1,500, citing margin concerns. The lower target represents upside of almost 10 percent from current levels.

We have seen a string of weak economic reports, said Scott Marseilles, chief technical market strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis. You have got that with the renewed concerns about Greece.

Unsettling markets further, the International Monetary Fund cannot continue to lend to Greece until it has financing assurances from EU partner countries for the bailout program, an IMF spokeswoman said.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 70.39 points, or 0.57 percent, to 12,324.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 5.52 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,314.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 1.65 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,759.73.

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft Corp , to step down. Shares of the Dow component rose 2 percent to $24.68.

Tiffany & Co shares rose 8.9 percent to $76.24 after the luxury retailer reported its first-quarter results and raised its outlook.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)