US stocks followed European equity markets lower Thursday, falling slightly after the European Central Bank enacted no new stimulus measures.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 12.52 points (0.07 percent) to 17,900.10.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 2.41 (0.12 percent) to 2,071.92, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 5.04 (0.11 percent) to 4,769.44.
Markets in Britain, France and Germany all fell sharply after the ECB held its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.05 percent.
ECB chief Mario Draghi said the bank has stepped up preparations for more anti-deflation measures, but that they will be reassessed only in January.
"Obviously the market needs continued support," said Steven Rosen, a managing director at Societe Generale. "Investors were looking for Europe to come with a grand plan. Every time they push it off."
Investors are gearing up for Friday's release of the November US jobs report.
Petroleum-related stocks had another bad day as oil prices retreated again. Dow component Chevron fell 1.3 percent, Marathon Oil lost 2.3 percent and rig company Transocean tumbled 4.6 percent.
Airlines rallied on expectations for higher profits due to lower fuel costs. Delta Air Lines gained 3.7 percent, while United Continental advanced 4.2 percent.
Pipeline operator Enbridge jumped 10.3 percent after announcing a 33 percent increase in its quarterly dividend.
Barnes & Noble fell 5.4 percent after announcing that it ended a partnership with Microsoft for its Nook tablet. B&N will buy back Microsoft's stake in the partnership for $300 million. Dow member Microsoft rose 1.6 percent.
Starbucks gained 1.0 percent as it unveiled a five-year plan to increase revenues to near $30 billion in 2019 from $16 billion in 2014. The company's plans include doubling its store count in China and boosting its food menu in the US.
Grocery chain Kroger added 3.6 percent as third-quarter net income jumped 21 percent to $362 million behind higher revenues.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.26 percent from 2.29 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.96 percent from 2.99 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.