Stocks are slipping in early trading as unease over Europe overshadows an encouraging U.S. employment report and good results from big retailers including Walmart Stores.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points at 12,573 shortly after the opening bell Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,322. The Nasdaq composite fell eight points to 2,865.
The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits held steady last week, a sign that layoffs are not increasing. Also Walmart reported a 10 percent jump in first-quarter income, beating Wall Street expectations.
Investors are still fretting about developments in Europe and the fate of Greece in the euro bloc and its effect in the global markets.