The stock markets in the United States declined as the prices of equities of energy companies fell, which overshadowed the new stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB).

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The ECB announced its decision to reduce all interest rates and two new programs to purchase asset-backed securities and covered bonds issued by banks in the European region.

According to ECB President Mario Draghi, the new programs will be implemented next month. It will provide the operational details after the meeting of the governing council on October 2.

The ECB lowered the primary lending rate from 0.15% to 0.05%. The rate for overnight bank funds parked at the central from -0.01% to -0.02%. Its rate for overnight loans was also reduced from 0.40% to 0.30%.

Today, data showed that U.S. service providers expanded in August at the fastest rate in nine years. The expansion indicates a growing momentum in the broadest sector of the U.S. economy.

The Department of Labor reported that there is no significant change in the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week. The agency is scheduled to release its monthly jobs report tomorrow.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associated said, “We saw such a quick bounce off the 1,900 level in early August straight up to a new high. In the very near-term, you’ve got a variety of headwinds and exhaustion around the move higher.”

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,069.58 (-0.05%)
• S&P 500- 1,997.65 (-0.15%)
• NASDAQ- 4,562.29 (-0.22%)
• Russell 2000- 1,166.92 (-0.45%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,277.25 (+1.81%)
• FTSE 100 Index- 6,877.97 (+0.06%)
• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,724.26 (+1.02%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 15,676.18(-0.33%)
• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 25,297.92 (-0.08%)
• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,426.22 (+0.72%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) declined almost 6% to $44.69 per share after a federal court found that it was grossly negligent in connection with the 2010 oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico. The company could face billions of dollars of penalty. BP strongly disagreed with the decision of the court and plans to challenge it before the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The shares of GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GRPO) dropped more almost 7% to $53.08 per share after analysts at JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) downgraded their rating to Neutral.

PVH Corp (NYSE:PVH) gained more than 9% to $128.38 per share after the company reported second-quarter earnings that beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.51 per share compared with the consensus estimate of $1.42 per share. Its revenue was on $1.97 billion.