ECB Rate Move Fails to Boost Sentiment; Major Indexes Remain Lower at Mid-Session
Stocks are down in mid-day trading while a mixed slate of economic data coupled with comments from the European Central Bank president service to squelch buyers through the first half of the trading day.
In data released after the opening bell this morning, U.S. wholesale inventories rose 1.6% in October, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported. Wholesale inventory levels are a leading indicator showing how aggressively business are buying at the wholesale level. Compared to October last year, inventories have jumped 10.9% at the wholesale level.
Across the pond, the European Central Bank - as expected - lowered interest rates by 25 basis points to 1%. The Bank of England left interest rates at a record low 0.5% as was also expected. ECB President Mario Draghi said at a new conference that the European Union treat blocks "monetary financing." The comment came in response to a question about why the ECB doesn't ramp up its bond buying program, MarketWatch reported. Instead, Draghi said EU leaders, who are meeting tonight and on into tomorrow to hammer out a solution, have ultimate responsibility to address the crisis.
The nation's employment picture continues to show improvement, The U.S. Department of Labor reported first-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell sharply in the latest week to their lowest level since February.
The number of initial claims in the week ending Dec. 3 fell 23,000 to 381,000. Wall Street Economists had forecast claims would fall 9,000 to 393,000. The number of initial claims in the week ending Dec. 3 fell 23,000 to 381,000; Wall Street economists expected claims would fall 9,000 to 393,000. The four-week average dropped 3,000 to 393,250.
Commodities are down as February gold contracts are down 1.73% to $1,714 an ounce while January crude oil contacts are down 1.73% to $98.73 a barrel.
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