US stocks opened with small losses on Thursday as investors digested a batch of weak economic data from home and abroad and mixed corporate earnings from America's blue chips.
By 10:11 in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.15%, the Nasdaq fell 0.02% and the S&P 500
"With plenty of data being released from the US today and a number of massive companies also reporting on the first quarter, it should be a very eventful trading session," said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.
Shares in Procter & Gamble and 3M were among the fallers after their quarterly results disappointed, while Caterpillar and Ebay impressed.
Data released before the opening bell revealed that claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose in the week to 18 April. The Labor Department reported that US initial jobless claims rose to 295,000 in the week to 18 April from 294,000 the previous week, compared to analysts' estimates of 287,000.
US new home sales plunged by 11.4% to 481,000 in March after surging 7.8% the previous month to a seven-year high of 543,000.
Meanwhile, Markit's preliminary reading of its US manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 54.2 in April from 55.7 in March. Analysts expected no change.
Further abroad, data also released on Thursday that the HSBC Chinese manufacturing PMI fell to a one-year low in April while the Eurozone composite PMI pulled back from an 11-month high due to weaker growth in France and Germany.
In corporate news, consumer products giant P&G fell after a stronger dollar
led to a 7.6% fall in sales in its third quarter to $18.1bn, marking the fifth straight quarter of declines.
Manufacturing conglomerate 3M dropped after lowering its annual profit guidance as a stronger dollar hit sales and profits in its first quarter. Earnings per share for the full year are now forecasts to be $7.80-8.10, below its previous guidance of $8.00-8.30.
Industrial equipment maker Caterpillar beat forecasts and strong demand in North America made up for falling sales in China and Latin America. Sales fell 4% to $12.7bn in the first three months of 2015, ahead of the $12.3bn pencilled in by analysts.
Online marketplace Ebay also surpassed estimates with a 10% jump in first-quarter earnings per share to 77 cents on revenues that were 4% higher at $4.45bn.