December 12, 2017
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wall Street ends with slight losses, energy weighs again

US stocks ended slightly lower today after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi brushed off pressure for more immediate monetary policy action but said the issue would be addressed early next year.

The day's losses were slight but broad, with seven of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors ending in negative territory and no sector up more than 0.3 percent.

Draghi said the ECB would reassess the impact of its stimulus early in 2015 and take further action if necessary, but didn't mention a specific timeline.

The S&P 500 fell as much as 0.6 percent before rebounding and briefly turned positive. The Dow had touched an intraday record.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12.52 points, or 0.07 percent, to 17,900.1, the S&P 500 lost 2.41 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,071.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.04 points, or 0.11 percent, to 4,769.44.

European shares sank after the European Central Bank stuck to its line that it will decide early next year whether further measures are needed to boost the euro zone economy, sparking a bout of profit-taking.

Hopes that the central bank would embark on a US-style government bond-buying scheme have been fuelling a strong rally in European shares in the past few weeks, with Germany's DAX surging 20 percent since mid-October and hitting a record high today, before falling back.

The lack of clear details during ECB President Mario Draghi's press conference on if and when the central bank will take the radical step of printing money to buy sovereign bonds prompted investors to lock in their recent gains.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 1.4 percent lower, at 1,380.77 points, its sharpest one-day drop in 7 weeks.

Meanwhile, Japanese stocks jumped to a near 7-1/2-year high today as a weak yen lifted key exporter shares while data showing US economic resilience and expectations of more monetary stimulus in Europe buoyed risk appetites.

Also lifting sentiment was a poll suggesting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition will score a handsome win at the Dec. 14 general election, which could lead to a fresh mandate for his "Abenomics" plan to revive the economy.

The Nikkei benchmark, rising for a fifth straight day, ended 0.9 percent higher at 17,887.21, the highest closing level since July 2007. The broader Topix gained 0.8 percent to a 6-1/2-year peak at 1,440.60, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.7 percent to 13,078.27.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  

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