Stocks are slightly lower

Stocks opened lower on Thursday morning.

Near 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 49 points, the S&P 500 was down 7 points, and the Nasdaq was down 28 points. On Wednesday, energy and healthcare stocks were among the best performers, and the Dow closed 122 points higher.

The main event today is the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting. After wild speculation and forecasting, the Fed left interest rates unchanged.

The minutes will offer markets some more insight into what influenced that decision. It would, however, be stale with regards to the labour market, following the last two unexpectedly weak jobs reports.

In economic data, initial jobless claims fell more than expected last week and to the lowest level in three months, to 263,000 from 276,000 in the prior week.

Crude oil rallied about 1%, with West Texas Intermediate crude futures near $US48.38 per barrel in New York.

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