Shares around the world continued to waver on Thursday, as traders faced more signs that the global economy was slowing.

As it did earlier this week, the evidence came from the United States and other countries.

Exchanges in Asia and Europe were down. Wall Street indexes opened lower after the government reported that unemployment claims last week rose to a level not seen since February.

“Once again, we can say with near total certainty that there is no meaningful improvement on the labor front,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak & Company, in a research note.

Filings for jobless benefits rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 484,000. Analysts had expected a drop. Initial unemployment filings have now risen in three of the last four weeks.

The technology bellwether, Cisco Systems, added to the anxiety by reporting revenue late Wednesday that fell short of forecasts and then offering an outlook that was also below expectations.

The Cisco chief executive, John T. Chambers, said the company had received numerous mixed signals about the economy, adding that it was seeing a period of “unusual uncertainty.”

In Europe, the Greek government said that its recession deepened in the second quarter as the austerity measures began to take effect. Gross domestic product in Greece contracted by 1.5 percent in the three months to June, and the unemployment rate rose to 12 percent in May from 11.9 percent, the government said.

More broadly, new figures from Eurostat showed industrial production in the euro zone dipped unexpectedly, by 0.1 percent, in June, after climbing 1.1 percent in May. But G.D.P. figures for the region, due Friday, are expected to be positive.

Still, Matthias Jasper, head of equities at WGZ Bank in Düsseldorf, said the overall picture for Europe remained much more positive than it had been just weeks ago. The bulk of second-quarter corporate earnings and revenue reports have been higher than expected — the giant brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev becoming the latest example Thursday.

“There are some big issues out there for investors, the fear of a double-dip recession in the U.S. and a slowdown in China,” he said. “But I just feel that the market’s taking a breather.”

The Dow Jones industrial average began the day 110 points lower before recovering some ground. After an hour of trading it was down 64.25 points or 0.6 percent. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 8.21 points, or 0.8 percent, and the technology heavy Nasdaq dropped 25.27 points, or 1.1 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index opened higher but was down 0.2 percent by the afternoon. The Dax in Frankfurt was down 0.6 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris was 0.9 percent lower.

The focus among analysts has switched from worries about European sovereign debt to the possibility of a slowdown in the United States, where expectations of growth are being trimmed after the release of weaker- than-expected trade data for June.

“The overriding theme has shifted to weak U.S. economic prospects,” analysts at Standard Chartered wrote in a note, adding that the slowdown in China’s industrial production and retail sales in July did not help, even though the pace of moderation was probably in line with the government’s intentions.

“We could be on the brink of risk aversion returning to dominate market sentiment,” they said.

The market drops on Wednesday followed a spate of developments signaling a slowdown. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve officials warned that the pace of recovery in the United States had slowed.

Then on Wednesday came news from China suggesting its fast-growing economy was cooling. And later that day, the Bank of England reduced its already diminished forecast for the British economy.

Finally, new trade figures from Washington showed that American exports were faltering, a sign that hard-pressed domestic manufacturers could not rely on overseas markets to ease their pain at home.

Those reports sent the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling in a 265-point decline, moving it back into the red for the year. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 2.8 percent. And those declines carried into Asia on Thursday morning.

Uri Landesman, the president of Platinum Partners, said that he expected the S.& P. to continue to fall in the next few days.

“There is just not enough good news,” Mr. Landesman said. “The only good news has been earnings. People have no confidence at all in the government and the Fed. There is fear we are going to head to a second recession.”

“There is nothing good to say about the employment situation in our country,” he said.

As stocks declined, investors rushed for safety in government debt like United States Treasury securities, pushing benchmark market interest rates to their lowest levels in more than a year. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes — a benchmark for many home mortgages and corporate loans — recovered slightly on Thursday, rising to 2.73 percent from 2.68 percent late Wednesday.

After a bad bout of early selling in Asia, especially in Japan, the declines in most of the markets ended up being muted Thursday.

Japan’s Nikkei index dropped more than 2 percent Thursday before recovering to end the day down 0.86 percent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index closed down 0.9 percent.