US stocks sharply fell at the opening Thursday despite a modest decrease in initial jobless claims.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 358 points, or 1%, to 35,270 at 9.55 a.m. EDT.

The S&P 500 fell 74 points, or 1.63%, to 4,513. The Nasdaq plummeted 340 points, or 2.36%, to 14,076 with a major selloff in tech stocks.

Twitter and Amazon stocks shed more than 5% apiece, while Uber and Zoom fell around 3% each.

The VIX volatility index, known as the fear index, rose 7% to 23.65 after managing to stay above the critical level of 20 in recent days.

The dollar index lost 0.45% to 95.50 but the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes rose 3.5% to 1.829%.

Precious metals were down with gold losing 0.9% to $1,791 per ounce and silver falling 2.4% to $22.11.

Crude oil declined around 1% with Brent crude trading at $88.70 per barrel and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate at $87.36.

The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims last week fell 23,000 to 238,000, according to the Labor Department.

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