The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and eventually ended the trading session down due to the recent statement of European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. According to him, policy maker will wait until next quarter to evaluate whether additional stimulus is necessary.

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Draghi’s comment weakened the speculations that the European central bank is prepared to start a new program to purchase sovereign debt.  The ECB president also disclosed a substantially lower outlook for inflation and economic growth. According to him, the inflation rate in the European region is below the central bank’s target. He also warned that households are delaying spending.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities told Bloomberg, “Nothing Draghi has said surprised me. Until you see some kind of QE stimulus from Europe, whatever he says about it isn’t going to matter too much. Everyone will be focused on the strength of the jobs number.”

On the other hand, Karyn Cavanaugh, a senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management LLC commented, “I think it’ll eventually be good news and QE will have to happen. The writing is on the wall. Draghi’s going to have to start doing some bond-buying if they want to get out of the malaise they’re in.”

[drizzle]Meanwhile, investors are monitoring economic data to weigh the strength of the economy.  Today, the Department of Labor reported that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits declined by 17,000 to 297,000 for the week ended November 29.

The agency is scheduled to release its jobs report tomorrow. Economists estimated that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate remained at 5.8%, the lowest level since July 2008.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,897.14 (-0.09%)
  • S&P 500- 2,071.66 (-0.13%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,769.44 (-0.11%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,172.12 (-0.58%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,191.25 (-1.74%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,679.37 (-0.55%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,851.35 (-1.21%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,887.21 (+0.94%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,832.56 (+1.72%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,104.35 (+4.61%

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) climbed more than 8% to $102.93 per share after reporting earnings for the fourth quarter that exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The company reported earnings or $1.99 per share on $1.59 billion in revenue. Ana

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) declined more than 5% to $21.03 per share after terminating its Nook partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The company said it will buy out Microsoft’s 16.8% stake in Nook Media LLC for approximately $125 million in cash and stock. The shares of the software giant rose nearly 2% to $48.84 per share.

The shares of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HE) surged more than 14% to $32.22 after entering a $4.3 billion merger agreement with NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE). The company also announced the spinoff of ASB Hawaii as an independent, publicly traded company. The stock price of NextEra slightly declined to $103.49 per share.

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