U.S. stock indices edged lower on Thursday as investors were cautious ahead of a key jobs report, which could determine the Federal Reserve's decision at the next meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 4.15 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,863.43. The S&P 500 lost 2.38 points, or 0.1%, to 2,099.93 (seven out of its 10 sectors fell with energy, utilities and materials leading declines). The Nasdaq Composite fell 14.74 points, or 0.3%, to 5,127.74.
According to the Labor Department the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits rose by 16,000 to 276,000 at the end of October marking the highest level in two months. Economists had expected 262,000 claims.
This morning in Asia Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.82%, or 189.84, to 22,861.2. China Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.52%, or 18.20, to 3.541.02. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.43%, or 81.53, to 19,197.94.
Asian indices are mixed. Japanese stocks rose due to a relatively weaker yen ahead of U.S. employment data. Recent comments by Fed officials intensified expectations for a rate hike in December pushing the dollar up against the yen.