U.S. stocks closed lower Thursday, despite a surge in oil prices, as investors digested the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy decision and remarks made by its president, Mario Draghi.
"I think the market is sort of cross-fixed with all that's going on," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. "Investors are trying to figure out whether they zig or zag."
"We need better earnings to justify these higher prices," he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 50 points lower, with Apple contributing the most losses.
"Markets are concerned that central banks have little left to spur up demand," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "The market is treading water, waiting for more data."
The S&P 500 fell approximately 0.2 percent, with information technology lagging.
"The S&P 500 became short-term overbought when it rebounded from its September 1 low," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG. "Short-term momentum has been weak for about a month now. I think that's reflective of the tug of war between those defensive stocks and the more offensive sectors."
The Nasdaq composite underperformed and snapped a four-day winning streak, falling about 0.5 percent as Apple slid 2.6 percent. Apple's stock fell a day after unveiling its latest iPhone model. On Thursday, the firm said it will not release pre-order numbers for the phone, saying those figures are "no longer a representative metric for our investors and consumers."
The ECB kept interest rates unchanged and did not announce an extension of its quantitative easing program. Draghi said in a news conference the central bank did not discuss an extension of said program, but added the program will run until the end of next March or beyond, if necessary.