NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street looks to extend its losses after the government reported a larger-than-expected increase in jobless claims. Investors viewed the data as more evidence that the financial crisis is battering the economy and forcing companies to cut back.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications for unemployment benefits rose 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 478,000.
That was slightly above analysts' estimates of 470,000.
Jobless claims above 400,000 are considered a sign of recession.
A year ago, claims stood at 333,000, the department said.
Ahead of the market's open, the Dow Jones industrial futures were down 122 points at the 8,435 level. The Dow fell nearly 750 points over the previous two days.