Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard and Poor's 500 came down off of all-time closing highs, as the department said first-time unemployment benefit claims jumped by 32,000 to 360,000 in the latest week, the largest one-week jump in six months.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said mid-Atlantic manufacturing retreated in May form slight growth to a slight contraction and the Consumer Price Index released Thursday showed prices fell 0.4 percent March to April, a greater decline than economists anticipated.
At the close, the DJIA gave up 42.47 points, 0.28 percent, to 15,233.22. The S&P 500 lost 8.31 points, 0.5 percent, to 1,650.47. The Nasdaq composite index shed 6.37 points, 0.18 percent, to reach 3,465.24.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,231 stocks advanced and 1,859 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note rose 17/32 to yield 1.882 percent.
The U.S. dollar fell to 102.24 yen from Wednesday's 102.25 yen. The euro fell to $1.2884 from $1.2887.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.39 percent -- 58.79 points -- to 15,037.24. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.09 percent, 5.75 points, to 6,687.80.
Gold was down, dropping $12.30 to $1,383.90 per troy ounce.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 86 cents to $95.16 per barrel.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for July delivery shed 8 3/4 cents to $6.42 per bushel. Soybeans for July added 16 3/4 cents to $14.29 1/2. Wheat for July lost 9 1/2 cents to $6.84 1/4.