This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. EST.
After a steep sell-off Wednesday, global stocks were mixed Thursday with Asian markets continuing the previous trading session’s sell-off as oil prices continued to fall. Meanwhile, European and then U.S. stocks got a lift after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted at further stimulus measures.
“The president is likely to voice serious concerns over recent financial market turmoil, having warned previously of external risks to the eurozone even when fears over China were easing,” Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.
Asian stocks shrugged at the China Central Bank’s move to inject 400 billion yuan (about $60 billion) in cash into its financial system, its biggest in three years.
“That injection of cash was apparently less than Chinese investors were hoping for in the way of easy monetary policy, and once it was determined that state-owned enterprises were not going to support stocks late in the day, the selling mounted,” Stephen Guilfoyle, Deep Value Execution Services’ managing director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange, said in his daily email note Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits jumped to a six-month high, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The data hints at a slowdown in the labor market. Initial claims increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 293,000 for the week ended Jan. 16. Economists had forecast a smaller number of 278,000.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI ) closed up 115.94 points, or 0.74 percent, Thursday afternoon. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX ) gained 9.66 points, or 0.52 percent. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was almost flat for the day, gaining a slight 0.37 points or 0.01 percent.
Seven out of 10 S&P 500 sectors closed up Thursday, with the biggest gains in energy and telecommunications stocks. Utilities were flat. Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), New York-based communications company Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Atlanta-based home improvement chain Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) led gains among the 30 Dow components while investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) led declines.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose back rose to 2.02 percent after dipping to 1.98 percent the previous day during a steep selloff that sent traders fleeing to the so-called safe-harbor investment of U.S. government bonds. The bond yield dipped to a three-month low on Wednesday. The yield typically drops with stock prices. Gold, another safe-harbor investment, lost 0.41 percent to $1,101.70.
After U.S. crude prices dipped to lows not seen since May 2003, oil prices saw rebound on Thursday even after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said oil inventories rose by 4 million barrels, the highest level since 1990.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate gained 5.11 percent to $29.80 per barrel for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping below $27 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, advanced 6.03 percent to $29.56 for March delivery on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Asian stocks closed sharply down. The China’s broad CSI 300 Index fell 2.93 percent. The Shanghai Composite dropped 3.23 percent while the smaller Shenzhen Index fell 3.79 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained lost 1.82 percent while Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2.43 percent.
European shares closed in the green on Thursday, led by France’s CAC 40, which gained 1.97 percent. The German DAX rose 1.94 percent while London’s FTSE increased 1.77 percent.