The Labor Department said the number of people applying for unemployment for the first time rose 35,000 from the week before. It was the highest level since October.
A decline in the dollar is limiting stock losses Thursday. The dollar lost 1.2 percent against an index of six currencies after successful bond auctions by Spain and Italy pushed the euro higher. The dollar's slide helps U.S. companies that rely on exports.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 10, or 0.1 percent, to 11,745 in midday trading. The S&P 500 is up 1, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,286. The Nasdaq is up 4, or 0.2 percent, to 2,742.