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Sept. 9, 2021, 4:58 p.m. EDT

Dow, S&P 500 extend losing streak to 4 days as stocks end slightly lower

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By Mark DeCambre and William Watts

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Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would total 335,000.

Europe’s central bank said that it would conduct asset purchases under its pandemic emergency purchase program, or PEPP, at a “moderately lower pace” after accelerating purchases in recent quarters. “Based on a joint assessment of financing conditions and the inflation outlook, the Governing Council judges that favorable financing conditions can be maintained with a moderately lower pace of net asset purchases under the PEPP than in the previous two quarters,” the ECB said following a meeting of its Governing Council.

Read: ‘The lady isn’t tapering,’ says Lagarde as ECB slows asset purchases

The ECB said PEPP purchases would continue with an envelope of €1.85 trillion through at least the end of March 2022. The ECB left key interest rates unchanged, as expected. ECB President Christine Lagarde was hosting a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Gov. Michelle Bowman on Thursday said that the Fed was close to announcing the start of tapering of monthly purchases of $120 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

And New York Fed President John Williams, who gets a vote at every interest-rate-setting meeting, said late Wednesday the central bank is still on track to reduce its bond purchases this year.

“Recently, stocks were in an upside trajectory on falling expectations that the Fed will taper this year, and this was due to the latest disappointing U.S. jobs data,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group.

Recent comments by policy makers, however, suggest to some that there remains a chance that the Fed will announce a tapering plan sooner than later.

Which companies were in focus?

  • GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME +3.95% shares shrugged off early weakness that came after the videogames retailer late Wednesday reported mixed second-quarter results, but remained coy on its longer-term plans in. Its stock ended the day up 0.2%.

  • Lululemon Athletica /zigman2/quotes/204011506/composite LULU -2.25% shares rose 10.5% as the athleisure-apparel maker blew past Wall Street estimates for the quarter and increased its full-year forecast.

How other assets traded

  • The 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -3.28% fell 3.3 basis points to 1.30%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.

  • The dollar was trading 0.1% lower, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY -0.08% , which stood at around 92.52.

  • Gold futures were on the rise, with the December contract ending 0.4%, higher at $1,800 an ounce.

  • Oil futures /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 -2.73% fell, with West Texas Intermediate crude finishing 1.7% lower at $68.14 a barrel.

  • The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.05% tumbled 2.3% as China took aim at its videogame makers. The South China Morning Post reported the government will freeze new game approvals. Elsewhere in Asia, the Shanghai Composite  SHCOMP closed 0.5% higher and Japan’s Nikkei 225  NIK closed advanced 0.6% lower.

  • European equities were mostly lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP  falling 0.1% and the FTSE 100 UKX  dropping 1%.

—Steve Goldstein contributed to this article.

$ 106.73
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$41.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
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