Saying the market had a mixed session on Thursday would be putting it mildly.
Stocks rallied early after the European Central Bank announced its latest round of quantitative easing measures. The ECB announced it was cutting its main financing rate by five basis points to 0% and its deposit rate to -0.4%. The central bank also expanded its monthly bond purchases by one-third.
"This comprehensive package will exploit the synergies between the different instruments and has been calibrated to further ease financing conditions, stimulate new credit provision and thereby reinforce the momentum of the euro area's economic recovery and accelerate the return of inflation to levels below, but close to, 2%," ECB President Mario Draghi said.
Those measures initially provided the jolt markets were looking for, as the major indices all peaked around 10 a.m. ET. However, the rush was short-lived as the markets came crashing down in the subsequent trading hours.
The S&P 500 was the lone index able to rally back into the green, barely, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq closed the day down 0.03% and 0.3%, respectively.
On the positive side of the market, Box (BOX) climbed 1.7% after providing full-year guidance of a net loss between $0.83 and $0.85 per share vs. Wall Street's $0.88 per-share loss expectations.
Nuance Communications (NUAN) fell today despite agreeing to repurchase $500 million of its stock from activist investor Carl Ichan. The company paid $19 a share, a 6% discount from the stock's closing price on Wednesday.
Sirius XM (SIRI) shares fell 1.77% on heavy volume Thursday after majority stake holder Liberty Media (LMCA) reported its fourth-quarter results. Sirius added 634,000 subscribers in the quarter. The increase brought its total subscriber count to nearly 29.6 million, an 8.4% year-over-year increase.
Discount retailer Dollar General (DG) was one of the strongest performers midday, rising more than 10.6% on nearly five times its daily volume after reporting quarterly earnings of $1.30 per share in its January quarter. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $1.26 per share.
Oil stocks took a hit today as crude prices retreated. Williams Companies (WMB) fell more over 8%, while Exxon Mobil (XOM) declined 0.3% and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) dropped 1.9%.