3/10/2016, 10:15 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Closing bell: American markets close mixed

Stock markets in North America saw a day of trade swinging from higher open to midday lows and attempt for recovery by the end of session, struggling for gains in the last half hour. Investors were absorbing facts and outlooks from the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to further cut interest rate.

The ECB Governing Council cut its main refinancing rate from 0.05% to zero, effective from March 16. The marginal lending facility's investment rate was also lowered by five basis points, to 0.25%. The already negative deposit facility rate was cut by 10 basis points to 0.4% below zero. Monthly purchases of assets will be enhanced from €60 billion to €80 billion per month starting in April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.03% to 16,995 points. Merck & Company surfaced as the top advancer, adding 1.34%, and Intel held gaining position from the open, closing up 1.25%. Du Pont lost 1.97%, and Microsoft followed down 1.50%, while Apple shares inched up 0.05% after Department of Justice slammed the company's rhetoric on iPhone unlocking in San Bernardino shooting case.

The S&P 500 index bounced up 0.02% to 1,989 points at the very last moments of trade. Energy companies fell sharply: The Williams Companies plunged 11.47%, while Chesapeake slid 0.86% recovering from initial loss of 4%. Marathon Oil rose 1.15%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index closed down 0.15% at 4,286 points. Dollar Tree jumped 4.03%, Expedia rose 3.49%, and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance has a new make-up worth 2.75% more. Pharmaceutical mostly declined: Endo International lost 3.33%, Vertex slid 2.68%, and Alexion dropped 2.68%.

The wider Nasdaq Composite rolled down 0.26 % to 4,662 points.

In Toronto the S&P/TSX index ended 0.22% lower at 13,363 points. Material, mining and real estate sectors were the only in the green zone.

Oil prices also weighed on markets. The U.S. sweet light crude WTI traded down 1.10% at $40.46 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent fell 1.67% to $40.18 a barrel at the ICE Europe by 10:00 p.m. CET (4:00 p.m. EST).

Gold recovered from daily low at $1,236.60, rising 1.44% to $1,271.88 per troy ounce at 10:11 p.m. CET (4:11 p.m. EST).


Image: Beta/AP

Breaking the News / ZR