Stocks finished lower Thursday. The Dow fell 200 points to 25,473 while the S&P 500 lost 22 points to 2,748. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 84 points to 7,421.
U.S. equities extended losses after a disappointing central bank update renewed concerns about a global economic slowdown. At a post meeting press conference, ECB President Mario Draghi announced policymakers were reducing the Eurozone’s economic growth forecast from 1.7% to 1.1%. Separately, the European Central Bank unexpectedly announced a new fiscal stimulus plan that will begin in September and is slated to run through early 2021. On the data front, a report showed initial jobless claims declined from 226,000 to 223,000 in the prior week.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory with the defensive Utilities group the lone outperformer. Consumer Discretionary and Financials paced the decline as the sectors fell 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. In earnings, Kroger tumbled 10.0% to $25.61 after the grocery store chain missed analyst profit estimates and offered disappointing forward guidance. In other corporate news, Allergan gained 4.0% to $143.00 after the company announced the FDA accepted its application to expand the use of its Botox drug.
Breadth was negative on issues by 7:3 on the NYSE and by 11:5 on the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE volume totaled more than 3.8 billion shares.
Treasuries strengthened along the curve with the yield on the 10-year note falling five basis points to 2.64%. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude added 0.6% to $56.56/barrel. COMEX gold fell 0.1% to $1,286.00/ounce as the U.S. Dollar Index jumped 0.7%.