US markets opened lower at the start of today's session, prompted by details of planned tax cuts and after the UK raised the base interest rate to 0.5%.
A flurry of economic news, along with President Trump's plans to nominate Jerome Powell to head up the Fed, did little to ease nerves in New York.
Shortly after the open, the Dow was down slightly at 23,427.85, the S&P 500 by 0.22% at 2,573.78 and the Nasdaq by 0.14% at 6,706.90.
European markets were mixed. The FTSE 100 was up 0.47%, while the Dax was down 0.23% and the CAC 40 by 0.35%.
WTI crude oil was 0.07% higher at $54.34 a barrel, while Brent crude was down 0.10% at $60.43.
Gold was moving upward at $1,282.70 an ounce and silver added a rather modest 0.08%.
Copper was 0.53% higher.
Initial claims in the week ending 28 October were 229,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level, the Department of Labor said today.
Unit labour costs in the non-farm business sector increased 0.5% in the third quarter, reflecting a 3.5% increase in hourly compensation and a 3.0% increase in productivity, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed.
Meanwhile, non-farm business sector labour productivity increased 3.0% during the third quarter as output increased 3.8% and hours worked increased 0.8%.
Global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that employers announced workforce reductions totalling 29,831 in October, down 3% from the same month last year, when planned layoffs were 30,740.