Stocks drift lower as unemployment claims fall

Stocks are drifting lower after a pair of positive economic reports.

The government said early Thursday that unemployment claims fell last week, matching a four-year low reached last month. The job market has been strengthening, with employers adding jobs quickly enough to absorb thousands of new workers streaming into the labor force.

A separate report showed prices paid by wholesalers rose less than expected in February, despite high gas prices.

The Dow is down 22 points at 13,172 in the first 15 minutes of trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is down 1 at 1,392. The Nasdaq composite average is down 1 at 3,039.

If the Dow Jones industrial average closes higher, it would mark its first seven-session winning streak in more than a year.