US STOCKS ended slightly lower yesterday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi brushed off pressure for more immediate monetary policy action, but said the issue would be addressed early next year.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12.52 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 17,900.1, the S&P 500 lost 2.41 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 2,071.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.04 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4,769.44.
The day’s losses were slight but broad, with seven of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors ending in negative territory and no sector up more than 0.3 per cent.
The day’s losses were concentrated in energy shares, where the S&P Energy sector lost 0.8 per cent alongside a one per cent drop in the price of crude oil. ConocoPhillips fell 2.1 per cent to $69.31, while Chevron was off 1.3 per cent at $112.28.
The moves follow three days of gains, when the group advanced 3.2 per cent.
Microsoft rose 1.6 per cent to $48.84, limiting the decline in all three major indexes.
Earlier, Barnes & Noble struck a deal to buy Microsoft’s stake in Nook Media in a deal valued at $125m. Shares of Barnes & Noble fell 5.4 per cent to $21.03.
Procter & Gamble rose 0.64 per cent to $90.58 and American Express also added 0.64 per cent to $91.83.
UnitedHealth Group closed down 1.12 per cent at $99.67, and General Electric retreated 1.10 per cent to $26.09.