Thursday's mixed economic reports on the U.S. economy kept a lid on stocks and focused the attention of traders and investors on the end-of-the-week nonfarm payroll report, causing stocks to retreat and the euro to slide.
The ADP report for April showed lower-than-expected jobless claims, but the ISM service sector report came out worse than anticipated. In Europe, euro zone government bond yields fell after successful sales by France and Spain of €10 billion ($13.15 billion) in debt. This was Spain's first bond auction since the S&P cut Spain's bond rating by two notches last week.
News that the European Central Bank (ECB) left its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent was met with a shrug as most investors expected as much. The euro's slide against the dollar entered its fourth day as investors interpreted ECB chief Mario Draghi's remarks to mean the ECB has not ruled out the prospect of further easing.
Stocks. The Dow Industrial Average lost 62.06 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 13, 206.51. The S&P 500 fell 199.87 points, or 1.63 percent, to 12,030.25. The Nasdaq Composite shed 35.55 points, or 1.16 percent, to 3,024.30. A big loser was Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which shed about half of its stock value as inventory continued to outpace sales. Most markets were down except for those in Shanghai, Tokyo and London.
Bonds. U.S. Treasurys fell on the well-received jobless claims data. The yield on benchmark 10-year T-bills slipped to 1.923 percent. The 30-year bond rose 4/32 to 3.111 percent. U.S. bonds underperformed German bunds. U.S. government bonds might garner more interest Friday if the Bureau of Labor Statistic's nonfarm payrolls report suggests an economic slowdown.
Currencies. The euro strengthened against the yen while the dollar rose against both currencies. Canada's dollar led currencies higher in natural resource-rich countries like Australia and New Zealand.
Commodities. Commodities were mixed. Concerns that the U.S. economy might be slowing sent crude oil prices down to a two-week low. Copper, which is also linked heavily to the global economy, was on its way to a one-week low. Coffee futures declined on high supply estimates from Brazil. Corn, lean hogs, live cattle, sugar, wheat and lumber gained.