U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday (February 21), extending the previous session's steep decline following a bigger-than-expected rise in weekly jobless claims.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 28.40 points, or 0.20 percent, at 13,899.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 5.87 points, or 0.39 percent, at 1,506.08. TheNasdaq CompositeIndex was down 11.90 points, or 0.38 percent, at 3,152.51.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, above expectations for 355,000, but still at levels consistent with a steady improvement in labor market conditions.

Presented by Adam Justice