Thursday, December 6, 2012
U.S. stocks finished with modest gained of 0.3% for the S&P 500 and 0.5% on the NASDAQ ahead of Friday's widely anticipated jobs data. Apple (AAPL) gained 1.6% to recover part of the 6%+ loss it registered Wednesday. In economic news:
- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported. Economists had forecast claims falling to 380,0000 last week.
Oil declined 1.8% to $86.26 a barrel. Gold rose 0.5% to settle at $1,701.80 an ounce, while silver also rose 0.5% to $33.11.
British shares gained 0.2%, German shares 1.1% and French shares 0.3%.
- The ECB held interest rates at a record low of 0.75%, as expected. ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank will continue to supply euro zone banks with all the liquidity they ask for in the central bank's refinancing operations at least until July 2013.
- The bank forecast the economy will shrink 0.5% this year, more than the 0.4% contraction it predicted in September. The ECB cut its 2013 forecast to a contraction of 0.3%, and projected expansion of 1.2% in 2014.
Japan was fractionally lower while China dropped 0.1%.