Stocks down about 1% in early trading Thursday morning

NEW YORK -- Stocks were down 1% in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve released minutes showing internal debates about new monetary stimulus.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 93 points, or 0.7%, to 12,512 shortly after the opening bell.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 13 points, or 1%, to 1,328. The Nasdaq was down 42 points, or 1.5%, to 2,845.

The morning sell-off came despite a federal government report showing a decline in first-time unemployment claims.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that initial claims declined by 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 350,000, compared to the previous week.

Worries over the U.S. and European economies persist. Investor Warren Buffett told CNBC Thursday morning that the U.S. is faring better than virtually all the major  economies.

But, Buffett said: "The general economy in the United States has more or less been flat."

Europe's slowdown seems to have worsened recently, he told the network. Declines in consumer spending have led businesses to pull back, leading the continent's situation "to slip pretty fast," Buffett told CNBC.


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