US Stocks Fall Broadly Thursday

(AP) -- Stocks broadly fell on Wall Street in early trading Thursday as investors weighed the latest economic reports showing that unemployment claims are falling but labor costs are rising.

Markets have been wobbly all week as investors closely watch the labor markets for more signs of economic growth and consider any information that could give more clues about rising inflation. Labor costs rose at a 1.7% rate in the first quarter, up from the initial estimate that costs had fallen 0.3% in the first quarter. That could stoke more fears that inflation might run hotter than expected.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.8% as of 9:56 a.m. eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 196 points, or 0.6%, to 34,399 points and the Nasdaq shed 1.3%.

The early decline has erased all of the markets gains for the week.

Technology companies, whose pricey stock values make them more sensitive to inflation fears, were the biggest weight on the market. Microsoft fell 1.3% and Intel slipped 2.2%.

The losses were shared by every sector in the benchmark S&P 500. A variety of companies that rely on direct consumer spending and communications companies were also had some of the biggest declines. Energy companies and utilities held up better than most sectors, but were still seeing significant drops.

Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.61% from 1.59% late Wednesday.

Wall Street will get more detailed data on the labor market Friday when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report. Economists are projecting that it will show employers added more than 650,000 jobs in May.

Expectations of a strong increase in hiring have stoked worries about inflation and how the Fed may respond to it. The concern is that the global recovery could be hampered if governments and central banks have to withdraw stimulus to combat rising prices.

AMC Entertainment fell 30.6% after the movie theater operator said it would sell more shares following a huge run-up in its stock price this year.

Markets in Europe were lower while Asian markets were mixed.