US stocks closed mostly down on 10 March, with the S&P 500 managing to eke out small gains, following the announcements from the European Central Bank (ECB). Low oil prices and investors dismissing the ECB's new easing measures weighed on the stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 5.23 points, or 0.03%, to settle at 16,995.13, off its after earlier falling by 178 points. DuPont fell 2% and Microsoft Corp dipped 1.5%.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 12.22 points, or 0.26%, to settle at 4,662.16. It fell as much as 66 points in intraday trading but closed well above session lows.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 managed to recover from an intraday decline of 1% to squeeze out a gain of 0.31 points, or 0.02%, to close at 1,989.57. MarketWatch noted that materials and telecom shares contributed to gains, while industrials and tech stocks led declines.
"I would take the (ECB) actions as much more telling than the words. They have shown they are not short of ammunition. It may not be on the rate side. It could be on the QE side. They have more tools in the toolbox," Sameer Samana, senior global strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute told CNBC. "I think why you're seeing markets rallying back is they're focusing on what (the ECB) did rather than that comment on how they're not going to go much further on the rates side," he added.
Following ECB President Mario Draghi's announcement that he did not anticipate a need to reduce rates further, the euro reversed initial declines to hit its highest against the US dollar. The euro climbed above $1.11, while European stocks initially surged but ended sharply lower. Stateside, Thursday's (10 March) mixed close assured the major averages were on pace for a weekly decline after three weeks of gains, CNBC reported.
US crude oil futures ended down 45 cents, or 1.18%, to settle at $37.84 a barrel. Prior to the opening bell, Reuters reported that a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers on 20 March is unlikely to take p;ace as Iran has yet to commit to a freeze in oil production.
The US dollar index traded lower at over 1%, with the yen at 113.13 yen against the greenback. Treasury yields traded up, with the 2-year yields at 0.93% and the 10-year yields at 1.93%. According to CNBC, the US Treasury Department sold $12bn in 30-year bonds to solid demands. Gold futures for April delivery ended up $15.40 to settle at $1,272.80 an ounce.