FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
The broad S&P 500 slid 1% to the downside in afternoon action after economic data beat expectations and traders braced for Friday's jobs report.
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As of 3:12 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119 points, or 0.76%, to 15627, the S&P 500 declined 19.1 points, or 1.1%, to 1751 and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 64 points, or 1.6%, to 3868.
Amid all the conversation about the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program, the ECB surprised market participants by taking a play from the traditional monetary policy play book. The powerful central bank sliced its main refinancing rate by 0.25 percentage point to a record low of 0.25%. The move immediately sent the euro plunging and stock-index futures climbing.
Elsewhere on the economic front, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 2.8% in the third quarter, topping estimates of 2%.
The Labor Department reported new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to 336,6000 from an upwardly revised 345,000 the week prior. Claims were expected to fall to 335,000 from an initially reported 340,000.
Both gauges will help guide the Fed as it determines when to begin paring back its giant bond-buying program. The all-important October jobs report is due out on Friday.
On the corporate front, Twitter debuted on NYSE Euronext's (NYSE:NYX) New York Stock Exchange at $45.10, after pricing at $26 on Wednesday evening.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 42 cents, or 0.44%, to $95.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline fell 0.44% to $2.537 a gallon. In metals, gold gained $5.10, or 0.39%, to $1,323 a troy ounce.