North American stocks mixed as U.S. jobless claims hit 6.6 million

North American stocks markets were mixed in early trading with U.S. indexes falling at the open on Thursday after U.S. jobless claims blew past a record 6 million and Canada’s benchmark index up thanks to higher oil prices.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 124.05 points, or 0.59 per cent, at the open to 20,819.46. The S&P 500 opened lower by 11.96 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 2,458.54, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 43.13 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 7,317.45 at the opening bell.

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In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 153.21 points at 13,029.58 at 9:50 a.m. ET.

The Canadian dollar traded for 70.14 cents US compared with an average of 70.34 cents US on Wednesday.

The May crude contract was up US$1.66 at US$21.97 per barrel and the May natural gas contract was down 3.9 cents at US$1.55 mmBTU.

The June gold contract was up US$34.00 at US$1,625.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 0.90 of a cent at US$2.18 a

— With files from the Canadian Press and a file from Erica Alini at Global News

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