Thursday, December 4, 2014
Markets Open Lower
U.S. stocks are down this morning, with benchmarks retreating from records, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank would wait until early next year to consider whether further moves to stimulate the economy are needed.
Draghi's comments threw cold water on hopes the ECB would begin a program of sovereign-debt purchases called quantitative easing. The central bank held interest rates at a record low and began buying asset-backed securities and covered bonds at past meetings.
Fewer Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week, with jobless claims falling by 17,000 to 297,000, the Labor Department said.
On Friday, the government releases the November payrolls report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 76.68 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,835.94, with General Electric and Chevron leading blue-chip declines that extended to 24 of 30 components.
The S&P 500 shed 8.12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,066.21, with energy hardest hit and technology the sole advancing sector of its 10 major industry groups.
The Nasdaq fell 2.71 points, or nearly 0.1 percent, to 4,771.76.
Erasing gains, the Nasdaq Composite shed 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,770.44.
For every share rising, three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 155 million shares traded as of 10:40 a.m. Eastern. Composite volume neared 725 million.
Crude oil futures delivery fell 68 cents, or 1 percent, to $66.71 a barrel; the February gold futures contract dropped 50 cents to $1,208.20 an ounce.
The U.S. dollar edged lower against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners; the yield on the benchmark 10 year Treasury note fell a basis point to 2.2667 percent.