ECONOMY

Stocks give up gains as slump in oil prices weighs on energy sector, offsetting ECB stimulus

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. U.S. stocks rose Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after the European Central Bank surprised traders by trimming its main interest rate to a record low, and announcing that it would purchase asset-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the region's ailing economy.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. U.S. stocks rose Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, after the European Central Bank surprised traders by trimming its main interest rate to a record low, and announcing that it would purchase asset-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the region's ailing economy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)  (The Associated Press)

A slump in oil prices is weighing on the stock market, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its third straight loss.

The S&P 500 index lost three points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,997 Thursday. The tech-dominated Nasdaq slid 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,562.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,069.

Stocks had started the day higher after the European Central Bank surprised investors by announcing that it had cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low and planned to purchase asset-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the region's ailing economy.

The gains didn't hold though and the market fell back during afternoon trading, as the falling price of oil pushed energy stocks lower.