NEW YORK, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed down Thursday, turning lower from a higher opening, with investor sentiment rattled by the lingering Ukraine crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 75.07 points, or 0.46 percent, to 16,368.27. The S&P 500 fell 10.67 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,909.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 20.08 points, or 0.46 percent, to 4,334.97.
The market initially went up after the weekly U.S. jobless claims data came out better than expected. In the week ending Aug. 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 289,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level, said the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, a smoother gauge of the initial claims, fell 4,000 to 293,500 last week, marking the lowest level since February 25, 2006.
However, the U.S. stock market lost ground later, as investors tended to stay on the sidelines in the face of lingering geopolitical concerns in Ukraine.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that Russia is imposing a ban on food imports from the European Union and the United States in retaliation for their sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
One day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning or limiting the import of agricultural products from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow.
In corporate news, iDreamSky Technology Limited, China's largest independent mobile game publishing platform, Thursday made its trading debut on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "DSKY," closing at 15.94 U.S. dollars per American depositary shares ("ADS"), higher than its initial public offering price of 15.00 dollars per ADS. Each ADS represents four Class A ordinary shares of the Company.
Shortly after the closing bell, a pair of giant media companies delivered mixed earnings reports. CBS Corporation beat market expectations with second-quarter profit but its revenue missed analyst forecast. News Corporation scored a top line beat in the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter but disappointed Wall Street in its bottom line.
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose 1.77 percent to end at 16.66 Thursday.
In other markets, crude prices gained Thursday as violence escalated in Iraq, the second largest crude producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery moved up 42 cents to settle at 97.34 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 85 cents to close at 105.44 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange continued to move up Thursday despite encouraging jobs data, with the most active gold contract for December delivery up 4.3 dollars, or 0.33 percent, to settle at 1,312.5 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. dollar rebounded against major currencies Thursday, and it advanced versus the euro after the European Central Bank decided to maintain loose monetary policy.
In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3359 dollars from 1.3377 dollars of the previous session, and the dollar bought 102. 07 Japanese yen, higher than 102.05 yen of the previous session.