U.S. Stocks Extend Losses; Euro Slides to 11-Year Low Before ECB

U.S. stocks retreated for a second day, while the dollar rallied as investors assessed data on jobs and service industries for clues to the timing of interest-rate increases. The euro slid to an 11-year low and gold fell.

All but one of 10 industry groups dropped in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which was down 0.4 percent by 4 p.m. in New York, still within 1 percent of a record. European stocks halted a two-day drop. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index returned to a decade high as the 19-nation euro touched its weakest level since September 2003. Gold futures fell 0.3 percent. U.S. oil advanced 2 percent, while Brent crude slipped 0.5 percent.

Companies added fewer workers to U.S. payrolls in February compared with the previous month, private data showed before Friday’s official monthly jobs report, while service industries unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace in February. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book showed most of the U.S. economy continued to grow from January through mid-February, as spending and manufacturing rose. The European Central Bank is expected to unveil more details on its quantitative easing plans Thursday.

Source : Bloomberg