Stock market notches longest losing streak of 2019 as ECB reacts to cracks in Europe's economy

U.S. stock benchmarks ended lower Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq booking their lengthiest skid this year, after the European Central Bank unveiled plans to deploy additional stimulus, signaled it wouldn’t raise rates as soon as expected and lowered its forecast for economic growth in the eurozone, reigniting fears about a global economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% ended 200 points, or 0.8%, lower at 25,473, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.21% declined 0.8% to 2,749, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.18% declined 1.1% to 7,421. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched their fourth consecutive declines, representing their longest losing skids of 2019. In another bearish indicator, the Dow Jones Transportation Average DJT, -0.45% viewed as a proxy for the health of the U.S. economy, declined for a 10th straight session, matching its longest losing streak since Feb. 23, 2009, according to FactSet data. The move by the ECB comes after the Federal Reserve also adopted a more dovish policy stance, signaling that it would wait to raise interest rates further. In corporate news, shares of Kroger Co. KR, -4.45% sank after the grocer announced fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

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