US stocks pare losses on reports ECB plans big stimulus package; Barnes & Noble drops

NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stock indexes recovered most of their losses after news outlets reported that Europe’s central bank is considering unveiling a stimulus package next month.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 17,900 Thursday. It had been down almost 100 points earlier.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost two points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,071. The Nasdaq composite declined five points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,769.

Bloomberg News said the European Central Bank is considering a large bond-purchasing program. That would be a relief to investors, who have been worrying that Europe could slip into a recession again.

In the U.S., Barnes & Noble fell 5 per cent after the company said it was ending its agreement with Microsoft for its Nook e-reader.