iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Thursday as crude oil futures slumped and investors dismissed new measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped to 5.23 (just 0.03 percent) ending the day at 16,995.13.

The Nasdaq fell to 12.22 (almost 0.3 percent) closing out at 4,662.16.

The S&P 500 inched up to 0.31 (just 0.02 percent), ending Thursday at 1,989.57.

Crude Oil dropped to 0.35 (almost 1 percent), finishing up at 37.94.

The European Central Bank (ECB): The ECB’s stimulus, which originally exceeded investors’ expectations, pushed stocks higher since it eased market’s concerns about an economic slowdown worldwide. It did this by giving investors hope that the European economy will continue to strengthen. However, this enthusiasm ended quickly, as investors lose confidence in the bank. Officials are saying the market is reverting back to relying on fundamentals, which will eventually result in declining earnings in an overvalued stock market. The moves of the ECB come before the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, which will be held March 15-16.

Crude-Oil: Crude-oil prices fell Thursday after a report indicated that there will likely not be a meeting of major oil producers to solidify a worldwide plan to halt production.

Jobless Claims: Jobless claims fell to a five-month low of 259,000, offering some additional optimism for investors. This suggests layoffs are diminishing and the labor market is on solid ground.

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Source: Business