Stocks slipped across the board on Thursday after Pfizer Inc's earnings trailed estimates and Merrill Lynch investment bank reported net losses of 1.96 billion dollars. ( dpa )
The investment bank said it would cut another 4,000 jobs amidst the most severe US economic downturn in decades.
Stocks fell despite upbeat forecasts at International Business Machines Corp and the first rise in six months of a leading economic index by the private Conference Board in New York.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.22 points or 0.01 per cent, to 12,620.49. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 0.85 points or 0.06 per cent, to 1,365.56. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 8.28 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 2,341.83.
The US currency rose against the euro to 62.89 euro cents from 62.72 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar also climbed against the Japanese currency to 102.43 yen from 101.77 yen Wednesday.
Gold gained 1.40 dollars to 944.20 dollars per fine ounce.