Stocks closed Thursday's session lower after the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, brushed off pressure for immediate policy action. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Markets took a break from their gains ahead of Fridays big jobs report. Stocks traded in a narrow range, closing lower, after the ECB said it wasn't going to take additional action soon to stimulate the European economy. In economic news, weekly jobless claims fell back below 300,000. S&P U.S. chief economist Beth Ann Bovino: SOUNDBITE: BETH ANN BOVINO, U.S. CHIEF ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If initial jobless claims stay under 325,000, that means businesses aren't only holding onto their workers, which the Challenger report suggests, but they may need to hire as well." Investors whacked Aeropostale. The teen clothing retailer lost money for the eighth straight quarter, and it expects to extend that streak to the current quarter. Fat discounts and falling demand hurt results. Barnes & Noble's big rally this year hit a wall. Weak sales of its Nook e-readers cut into profit. It said it's buying Microsoft's stake in its Nook business so it can spin that unit off. Slowdown at Express. The women apparel retailer's comparable store sales slid more than expected. And it slashed its full-year profit target. Sears can't snap out of its slump. Its quarterly loss widened and revenue fell. A respite from that negative news on retailers: Ryanair's shares took off again after the discount airline hiked its profit forecast for the second time in a month. It sold a higher percentage of seats partly as a result of improving its much-criticized customer service. In Europe, investors took profits, sending shares lower. They had bid up stocks on hopes that the ECB would launch a bond buying program to stimulate the economy. But the central bank dashed those hopes for now.