Stocks fell Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average once again below 12,000, as the European Central Bank damped down speculation it would boost debt purchases and regulators said the region’s lenders need to raise more capital than previously estimated.
The Dow closed down 198.67, or 1.63%, at 11,997.70; the S&P 500 fell 26.66, or 2.11%, ending at 1,234.35; and the Nasdaq composite closed down 52.83, or 1.99%, at 2,596.38. All numbers are preliminary.
Comments from ECB President Mario Draghi roiled the market. He kept the onus on European leaders, who meet in Brussels, to solve the debt crisis by repeating his call for a “fiscal compact” and denying he had hinted the ECB would automatically support such an initiative with more bond purchases. European Union banks must raise €114.7 billion ($152.8 billion) in fresh capital, up from a previous estimate of €106 billion, the European Banking Authority said.
Stock-futures rallied earlier Thursday after the ECB cut interest rates and offered banks unlimited cash for three years. In the U.S, data showed that fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting a drop in firings that may signal the job market is on the mend.