Stocks drop as oil drop offsets ECB stimulus - KMIR News | Palm Springs, California

Stocks drop as oil drop offsets ECB stimulus

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(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York.
By The Associated Press

A slump in oil prices is weighing on the stock market, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its third straight loss.

The S&P 500 index lost three points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,997 Thursday. The tech-dominated Nasdaq slid 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,562.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,069.

Stocks had started the day higher after the European Central Bank surprised investors by announcing that it had cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low and planned to purchase asset-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the region's ailing economy.

The gains didn't hold though and the market fell back during afternoon trading, as the falling price of oil pushed energy stocks lower.

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