Stocks fall after report shows first-time jobless claims fell less than forecast

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are falling in early trading after a report showed improvement in the labor market remains tepid.

The Labor Department says that first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 444,000 last week from an upwardly revised 448,000 the previous week. Economists were expecting claims to drop to 440,000.

While a fourth straight weekly drop in claims is a positive sign, claims have not dropped far enough yet to signal sustainable job growth.

In early morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 18.89, or 0.2 percent, at 10,878.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 1.72, or 0.2 percent, at 1,169.95, while the Nasdaq composite index is down 8.35, or 0.3 percent, at 2,416.67.