NEW YORK - The stock market pulled back from record levels Thursday as investors became harder to please.
Even a decline in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits failed to give stock prices a boost.
The Dow fell 22.5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,082.62. The S&P 500 index dropped 6.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,626.67. The Nasdaq composite index, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, fell 4.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,409.17.
Unemployment claims for last week dropped by 4,000 to 323,000 - a five-year low, the Labor Department reported early Thursday. That signals fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.
While the report failed to boost stocks, it did give the dollar a lift. The currency climbed against most major currencies and traded above 100 yen for the first time in more than four years. The Japanese currency has weakened dramatically due to the Bank of Japan's massive monetary stimulus.
An improvement in hiring has been one of the key factors that has pushed stocks up to record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday and is on track to notch six straight months of gains. The Standard and Poor's 500 index also closed at a record high Wednesday.
Rising corporate earnings, another key support for the stock market, were also in focus on Thursday.
Tesla Motors soared $13.61, or 24 percent, to $69.40, after the electric-car maker posted its first quarterly net profit since it was founded a decade ago. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters surged $16.56, or 27.8 percent, to $76.04 after the company reported late Wednesday that its net income rose 42 percent. It also raised its earnings forecast for the full year.
Monster Beverage, the maker of energy drinks, fell $2.96, or 5 percent, to $54.01 after it reported net income that fell short of analysts' estimates.
Barnes & Noble surged $4.31, or 24.3 percent, to $22.08 after the technology news blog TechCrunch reported that Microsoft was considering acquiring the book retailer's digital book venture Nook Media for $1 billion.
The price of crude oil fell 23 cents, or 0.2 percent, $96.39 and gold fell $5.10, or 0.3 percent, to $1,468.60.