Stocks fell on Thursday, but pared early losses late in the session. The down day came amid mixed weekly employment data and sharply higher coronavirus cases in many states. Prospects for a fiscal stimulus deal in Washington also diminished. While President Trump appeared ready to negotiate further, and possibly make additional concessions to House Democrats, Republican senators continued to reject the administration's $1.8 trillion offer as too expensive. On the employment front, first-time unemployment benefit claims rose from the prior week to 898,000 and came in well above the consensus forecast. However, continuing claims declined to 10.018 million, down from 11.183 million a week earlier and below the consensus of 10.550 million. The Dow fell 0.07%, the S&P 0.15%, and the Nasdaq 0.47%. Crude oil fell slightly to $41 per barrel, while gold rose $4 to $1911 per ounce.