U.S. stocks traded lower Thursday as investors digested the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy decision and remarks made by its president, Mario Draghi.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength even as the pace of job growth is slowing. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week ended Sept.3, the lowest level since mid-July, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised. Economists had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 265,000 in the latest week. It was the 79th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with robust labor market conditions. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
Today we will hear from the European Central Bank, and the conventional wisdom is that they will announce some expansion of their bond buying program; a QE3 if you will. That will no doubt be hailed by many as another nail in the coffin for the idea that this month’s Fed meeting, and maybe even December’s, are “live” in the sense that they could result in a rate hike.
Next Trading Day's Important Events
- 11:30 (GMT 3) UK consumer inflation expectations
- USDJPY: 101.56
- EURUSD: 1.1307
- S&P 500: 2,179.30
- NASDAQ : 5,255.60