NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices pulled back Thursday in a wary response to the latest news on jobrket conditions.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials dropped 17.29 points to 3,254.37.
Declining issues outnumbered advances by more than 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big Board volume came to an estimated 203.74 million shares as of 4 p.m. EDT, up from 184.28 million in the previous session.
The Labor Department reported that initial claims for state unemployment insurance rose by 15,000 in the week ended Sept. 19, surprising analysts who had been expecting a small decrease.
The news drew a warm response in the bond market, where traders saw it as a favorable portent for further declines in interest rates. Prices of longrm government bonds rose about $7.50 for each $1,000 in face value, lowering their yields to about 7.31 percent.
But analysts said stockrket investors were less enthusiastic about it, given their concerns over stubborn weakness in the economy.
Employment data for all of September are due out on Friday, in a report expected to carry a lot of weight with the Federal Reserve as the Fed decides whether to ease credit conditions further.
Analysts said traders also took a cautious approach awaiting the lateternoon press conference at which Ross Perot formally entered the race for president.
Medical Care America led the active list, down 4 at 20. The company, whose stock plunged 33 points in a single session last week, said it has been named in a shareholder suit alleging that it made misleading statements about its revenue and earnings prospects. …