* Weekly jobless claims land almost as expected
* Stocks slide after ECB’s Draghi speaks
* Indexes down: Dow 0.5, S&P 500 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 (Updates prices)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi brushed off pressure to act and said the bank would reassess the impact of its monetary policy stimulus early next year and take further action if necessary.
Energy sector stocks led the decline in the S&P 500 with a 1.5 percent drop that follows three days of gains in which they advanced 3.2 percent. The sector is down 8.7 percent year-to-date as crude oil prices tumbled.
The ECB met Thursday under growing pressure to prevent the bloc’s economy from entering recession. The bank has already cut borrowing costs to record lows, given cheap loans to banks, and started buying debt to kick-start lending and bolster growth.
“They use (stimulus) as a stick. Every time they get a bad number or are worried about the European economy they threaten more QE but it’s very difficult to implement,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Nashville.
He said the market entered December overbought after a huge run off the October lows, and it faces technical headwinds. However, the end of year will probably see the market continue to run up.
In the short-term, the “biggest threat is if you saw 325,000 jobs pop up, there might be some concern the Fed would have to make a move earlier than expected. But that’s a long-shot,” said Bittles.
The government’s non-farm payrolls report for November is due Friday.
At 11:35 a.m. EST (1635 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 90.39 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,822.23, the S&P 500 lost 10.03 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,064.3 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.55 points, or 0.28 percent, to 4,760.92.
Aeropostale shares fell 25.4 percent to $2.38 the day after the teen apparel retailer reported its eight straight quarterly loss and said it would close about 75 stores in the current quarter.
Shares of pet drug developer Kindred Biosciences fell 30 percent to $6.47 after it said it would stop developing its experimental atopic dermatitis drug for dogs due to “the rapid uptake and success” of a rival product. Dechra Pharmaceuticals recently launched its own treatment for the condition in Britain.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,161 to 803, for a 2.69-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,696 issues fell and 874 advanced for a 1.94-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 73 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 100 new highs and 57 new lows.
Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski