NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks slipped into negative territory as poor earnings outweighed hints of stimulus from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and signs of an improving domestic job market.
A day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 scored all-time closing highs, the Dow dropped 0.08%, the S&P was down 0.18% and the Nasdaq fell 0.23%.
Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. markets started the trading day Thursday:
Genworth Financial (GNW) was the worst performer on the S&P 500 after taking an earnings charge of $345 million in its third quarter following a long-term care insurance claim review. Shares were down 35%.
Qualcomm (QCOM) sank 9.9% after missing analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter and guiding for current-quarter earnings as high as $1.30 a share, short of consensus by 13 cents.
Web.Com (WWWW) was dragging on the Nasdaq after guiding to below-consensus earnings as high as 57 cents a share for its year-ending quarter. Analysts expected earnings, on average, of 63 cents a share. The stock tanked 21%.
European equities surged, with Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 up more than 0.4%, after Draghi restated plans to introduce stimulus measures if needed. The ECB on Thursday kept its benchmark lending rate at 0.05%, a record low.
A eurozone recession has been of major concern to global markets after the European Commission slashed its outlook for the region's growth on continued deflation worries and unemployment woes. Its largest economy, Germany, reported anemic industrial orders growth of 0.8% in September, far lower than an estimated 2.3% gain.
A falling number of claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. backed up recent data supporting an improving job market. Jobless claims declined 10,000 to 278,000 for the week ended Nov. 1. Analysts had expected claims of 283,000. Nonfarm payrolls data for October will be released on Friday morning.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices tumbled 1.4% to $77.60 a barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries warned of a "small decline in real values" of oil commodities to $95 a barrel by 2020. WTI prices have been in freefall, entering into a bear market after tumbling nearly 30% since June. On Tuesday, the commodity fell 2%, closing at a three-year low of $77.19 a barrel after Saudi Arabia cut the price of U.S. oil.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.