NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks edged lower in early trading Thursday, pulling back from record levels. The stock market surged Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it was trimming its stimulus efforts, which investors saw as a vote of confidence in the economy.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,806 in early trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,149. The Nasdaq composite fell eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,061.
THE ECONOMY: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 379,000, the highest since March. The increase may reflect volatility around the Thanksgiving holidays.
TARGET TARGETED: Target fell $1.21, or 1.9 percent, to $62.30 after the company said that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised by a data breach that happened just as shoppers flooded into stores for Black Friday. Customers who used credit cards between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 at the store may be exposed. The Secret Service says it is investigating.
FACEBOOK PAYOUT: Facebook fell $1.17, or 2.1 percent, to $54.40 after the company said it will sell 70 million shares, including more than 41 million held by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The social media's stock has surged since the summer, more than doubling since the end of July on optimism that the company's mobile strategy is working.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: ConAgra Foods, the maker of Swiss Miss hot chocolate and Peter Pan peanut butter, rose $1.13, or 3.4 percent, to $32.86 after it reported earnings for its fiscal second-quarter that exceeded expectations.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.94 percent, from 2.89 percent on Wednesday. The price of gold dropped $33.80, or 2.74 percent, to $1,201.10 an ounce. The metal hasn't settled below $1,200 in more than three years. Interest rates are rising and gold is falling after the Fed said it would pare back its bond purchases.
FADING POWER: The stocks of power companies fell the most of the 10 industry sectors that make up the S&P 500. Investors buy utility stocks because they pay big dividends. As bond yields rise, the stocks become less attractive.
GLOBAL MARKETS: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 60 points, or 0.9 percent to 6,547 while Germany's DAX rose 101.7, or 1.1 percent to 9,284. Solid performances were recorded by Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index which closed up 1.7 percent to 15,859.22.