* Payroll report seen showing mild jobs growth in June
* ECB, Britain, China loosen policy to stimulate growth
* JPMorgan leads bank stocks lower, BofA also weaker
* Indexes: Dow down 0.4 pct, S&P down 0.5 pct, Nasdaq flat
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, July 5 U.S. stocks edged down on
Thursday as economic stimulus measures by major central banks
failed to excite investors before a U.S. jobs report expected to
show tepid growth.
After the S&P 500 index's strongest three-day run this year,
investors stepped back, leaving the broad index and the Dow
modestly lower and the Nasdaq essentially flat.
Trading volume was light after the July 4th U.S. market
holiday and before the government's June nonfarm payrolls report
The data is expected to show Europe's debt crisis is
weighing heavily on the U.S. economy. Analysts expect the
economy added 90,000 jobs last month, a level that won't make
much of a dent in the grim unemployment situation.
"We're stabilizing today, but bigger moves would've been a
surprise with payrolls coming up tomorrow since there are still
concerns about the economy as a whole," said Rick Fier, director
of trading at Conifer Securities in New York, which manages
about $12 billion in assets.
Financial stocks weighed on Wall Street, with Dow component
JPMorgan Chase falling 4.2 percent to $34.38 and Bank of
America Corp off 3 percent at $7.82.
The S&P Financial index and the KBW Banks index
fell about 1.5 percent. Financial shares have often taken
the brunt of selling during the European crisis, though they
experienced a good run during the recent rally.
Wall Street was little impressed by the actions in China,
Europe and Britain to loosen monetary policy, which sent the
euro lower against the U.S. dollar.
Stocks also derived little benefit from reports on Thursday
showing hopeful signs about U.S. hiring by private employers.
Markets give more weight to the broader monthly report from the
U.S. Labor Department. .
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 47.15
points, or 0.36 percent, at 12,896.67. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 6.44 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,367.58.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.04 point at
Losses in the Nasdaq were limited by Apple Inc,
which rose 1.8 percent to $609.94, and Google Inc, up
1.4 percent at $595.92.
News that the U.S. service sector slowed to a 2 1/2-year low
in June was in line with investor fears that the euro zone debt
crisis was sapping global growth. Traders booked gains from the
strong run that began Friday and extended through Tuesday.
Economists do not expect the payrolls report for June to
dispel concerns that the recovery is losing steam. Europe's debt
debacle has sapped the strength of the global economy and some
worry Thursday's central bank actions indicate they are fighting
a losing battle.
"This action shows central banks getting in line for if a
default happens," Fier said. "It has taken people off the
disaster trade but also pressured the euro, making it hard for
the market to move higher in any meaningful way."
Meanwhile, Spain's difficulties increased, with its 10-year
borrowing costs rising despite the euro zone's latest plan to
help the region's troubled economies.
Costco Wholesale Corp, Macy's Inc, Kohl's
Corp and Target Corp were among the retail
chains that reported disappointing June sales at stores open at
least a year.
Costco shares were down 0.4 percent at $94 and Target fell
1.1 percent to $57.15.
Volume was light, with about 5.19 billion shares traded on
the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and
Nasdaq, below last year's daily average of 7.84 billion.
About 54 percent of companies traded on the New York Stock
Exchange closed in negative territory while on the Nasdaq about
52 percent of shares closed lower.