Stock Indexes Little Changed as ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged

Stock indexes were little changed in early trading Thursday after the European Central Bank decided to leave rates unchanged and US jobless claims dropped in the week through Dec. 3.

The ECB said in a statement that it would leave rates unchanged, and continue purchasing assets at a rate of 80 billion euros ($86 billion) until April when it will reduce the rate to 60 billion euros until December, “or beyond, if necessary.”

Oil prices rose as global benchmark Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate both rose 1.8% as traders continued to evaluate the market impact of last week’s deal between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to curb production.

In the US, jobless claims fell 10,000 to 258,000, missing forecasts from Econoday for a decline to 255,000, according to the Labor Department.

In equities, Horizon Pharma (HZNP) shares were lower and trading was halted after the company said it will discontinue a program to develop a treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia since a phase 3 trial did not meet its primary nor its secondary endpoints.

By Bryan Smith