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Stocks recede from record levels

May. 10, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- The stock market pulled back from record levels Thursday as investors became harder to please.

Even a decline in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits failed to give stock prices a boost. Markets drifted lower in early trading, fluctuated between gains and losses in the afternoon, then ended slightly lower.

Unemployment claims dropped to a five-year low last week, the Labor department reported early Thursday. That signals fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.

While the report failed to boost stocks, it did give the dollar a lift. The U.S. currency climbed against most major currencies and traded above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years. The Japanese currency has weakened dramatically this year due to the Bank of Japan's massive monetary stimulus.

The Dow fell 22.5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,082.62. The S&P 500 index dropped 6.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,626.67.

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