This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Stocks Finish Mixed Amid ECB Speculation


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished mixed Wednesday as traders mostly stood pat ahead of tomorrow's European Central Bank policy meeting.

It was a slow session filled with speculation about how ECB President Mario Draghi plans to address the old continent's debt problems and keep the single-currency eurozone intact. Bloomberg reported Draghi is set to propose a sterilized bond-buying program of unlimited size but the details of such a proposal and how it would actually be implemented remain to be seen.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 11 points, or 0.09%, at 13,047. The blue-chip index ranged less than 77 points on the day.

Winners outnumbered losers, 18 to 12, within the Dow. Walt Disney (DIS), Boeing (BA) and Alcoa (AA) were the standout gainers, while American Express (AXP), Cisco (CSCO), and Kraft Foods (KFT) were weak spots.

The S&P 500 fell 1.5 points, or 0.11%, to settle at 1403.44, while the Nasdaq gave back nearly 6 points, or 0.19%, to finish at 3069.

The weakest sectors in the broad market were transportation, technology and energy, while conglomerates, health care and basic materials were in the green.

Volume totaled 3.37 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.49 billion on the Nasdaq.

"We move towards the ECB meeting tomorrow, with markets looking for reasons to be volatile," said Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS. "We expect the ECB to ease the refi (not the discount) rate and to give a broad outline of the bond buying program -- with the constraint that we still have the German court ruling the permanent European rescue fund ahead."

Capital Economics argued there's still potential for disappointment at tomorrow's policy meeting with the firm saying "the lack of a limit on bond buying could simply reflect unwillingness on behalf of the ECB to commit to a specific amount of purchases rather than anything bolder."

Wednesday's U.S. economic data was mildly positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided a revised read on U.S. second-quarter nonfarm business productivity of up 2.2%, above the 1.8% gain expected by economists.

The report said the read on second-quarter unit labor costs was revised to a 1.5% increase, as expected. The previous read showed a 1.7% gain.

The data from across the pond was more troublesome. European Union's statistics office said Wednesday that retail trade in the region fell 0.2% in July from June as worsening economic conditions hurt consumer demand.

Also, Markit published data showing that its August composite PMI index on manufacturing and services declined to a revised 46.3, down from the flash reading of 46.6 and the July level of 46.5.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
HEK $0.00 0.00%
NOK $7.35 0.00%
AAPL $132.04 0.00%
FB $80.55 0.00%
GOOG $539.79 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,162.99 +121.45 0.67%
S&P 500 2,123.48 +19.28 0.92%
NASDAQ 5,106.5930 +73.8420 1.47%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs