Stocks sank across the U.S. and Europe, the euro fell against the dollar and investors dumped bonds issued by the governments of Spain and Italy. Investors had been expecting more immediate action from the ECB Bank and were disappointed by the plan’s lack of details, especially considering the ECB president’s pledge last week to do “whatever it takes” to keep the euro intact.
A week later, investors’ response was more like: “whatever.”
It was the second day in a row that markets were disappointed by a lack of decisive action from a major central bank. On Wednesday, stocks closed lower after the Federal Reserve made only vague promises about its plans for trying to revive the U.S. economy.
“It’s more jawboning, it’s more copy and paste from last week,” said Kenny Polcari, managing director of the brokerage ICAP. “There was no definitive plan, and so all the hype and energy (Draghi) created last week is going to go down in flames today.”
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 92.18 points to 12,878.88. The Dow had been down as much as 192 shortly after noon.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10.14 to 1,365. The Nasdaq composite index lost 10.44 to 2,909.77.
It was the fourth day in a row of losses; U.S. stocks haven’t risen since ECB President Mario Draghi’s now-famous three-word promise one week ago. Today could be another volatile day for the stock market. The Labor Department releases its closely watched monthly jobs report at 8:30 a.m.