Stocks fell Thursday as renewed concern about Europe outweighed positive jobs news in the U.S. The euro fell to a 15-month low against the dollar and stocks fell sharply in Italy and Spain.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 122 points, or 1 percent, to 12,297 in morning trading. The S&P 500 index fell 11 points to 1,266, and the Nasdaq fell 13 points to 2,635.

Stocks were down sharply in European countries with the biggest debt problems. Indexes in Italy, Greece and Spain fell more than 2 percent. Markets in the bigger, more stable economies of Britain, Germany and France fell slightly. The euro dropped to $1.28, its lowest level since September 2010.

Barnes & Noble plunged 25 percent after the book store chain lowered its profit forecast and said it might separate its electronic book and reader business from its bricks-and-mortar bookstores. The company's Nook reader has been positioned as a competitor to Amazon Inc.'s hugely successful Kindle and Apple Inc.'s iPad.

In the U.S., the Labor Department reported another drop in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits. Payroll processor ADP said private employers added 325,000 jobs last month. The two reports signal further, though not dramatic, improvement in the U.S. jobs market.

Investors shrugged off the U.S. jobs news and looked abroad, worried about Europe's banks. On Wednesday, Italy's largest bank, Unicredit, said it was selling new stock at a steep discount to raise $9.7 billion to meet new requirements for banks to keep thicker financial cushions against losses. UniCredit fell 10 percent Thursday.

In U.S. corporate news:

— Constellation Brands Inc. fell 4.7 percent after the beverage maker said its third-quarter income dropped 25 percent on weaker wine and beer sales in North America. The company makes Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka.

— Tesoro Corp. plunged 7 percent. The Texas oil refiner said it would report a loss for the final three months of 2011. Tesoro said rising prices for crude oil drove up refining costs at the same time gas prices were falling.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent. Mainland China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1 percent to its lowest level in almost three years.