By Dow Jones Business News,
June 05, 2014, 04:24:00 PM EDT
By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks climbed Thursday, finishing at records after the European Central Bank unveiled
a raft of stimulus measures.
The ECB announced a negative rate on reserves that banks park at the central bank, in a widely expected move, but it
also revealed several other measures aimed at boosting inflation and encouraging lending in the euro zone.
In U.S. economic news, a report on weekly jobless claims roughly matched forecasts.
The S&P 500(SPX) rose 12.58 points, or nearly 0.7%, to end at 1,940.46, shaking off a mid-morning decline. The
benchmark scored an all-time closing high for the 17th time this year, after nabbing its 16th record close on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJI) gained 98.58 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 16,836.11. The blue-chip index also
achieved a record close, and both the Dow and S&P 500 had their biggest gains since May 21 -- more than two weeks ago.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite(RIXF) advanced by 44.58 points, or nearly 1.1%, to end at 4,296.23, closing at levels
last seen in late March.
The small-cap Russell 2000(RUT) climbed 22.72 points, or 2%, to finish at 1,153.94, ending at levels last seen in late
The ECB cut its deposit facility to negative 0.10% from 0% and dropped its main lending rate to 0.15% from 0.25%. The
central bank also announced preparations toward the purchase of asset-backed securities. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed up
0.4%. (Read more: Few expected ECB to try so many measures all at once http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghi-brings-
"The package is immediately significant," said Citi Private Bank strategists in a note Thursday.
In the U.S., weekly jobless claims rose to 312,000, essentially in line with expectations of 311,000.
On Friday, investors will get the U.S. government's May jobs report. Economists are expecting a rise of 210,000 jobs
in May, but there is a little trepidation after private-sector payrolls disappointed on Wednesday, showing the slowest
pace of jobs growth in four months. (Read more: What to look for in May jobs report http://www.marketwatch.com/story/
Some strategists remain upbeat as U.S. stocks keep climbing.
"The uptrend still has the support of positive short-term momentum, although a pullback still appears likely in the
days ahead," said Katie Stockton, BTIG's chief technical strategist, in emailed comments on Thursday. "We believe any
weakness should be viewed as an opportunity to accumulate stocks, given widespread breakouts and healthy global
Hedge-fund manager David Tepper, who sounded notably cautious last month, told CNBC Thursday that the ECB has helped
soothe his biggest market worries.
Stock bulls also have gotten another boost from S&P Capital IQ. The research firm's Investment Policy Committee --
which has been upbeat on U.S. stocks -- raised its 12-month target for the S&P 500 to 2,100 late Wednesday, up 9% from
its prior target of 1,985. (Read more: Get your money ready for a big S&P 500 rally http://blogs.marketwatch.com/
Among individual stocks, Sprint Corp. ( S ) closed down 4% on news the wireless carrier is nearing a deal to buy rival
T-Mobile US Inc. ( TMUS ) for $40 a share. T-Mobile dropped 2.3%. (Read more in MarketWatch's Movers & Shakers column
Joy Global Inc.( JOY ) fared best among S&P 500 stocks, rising 6.7% after its quarterly earnings topped expectations.
PVH Corp.( PVH ) performed worst, losing 8.1% after it warned of pressure on its profit margins.
In other markets, August gold (GCQ4) gained ground, while Asian equities finished largely flat, outside of a 0.8% rise
for the Shanghai Composite .
More must-reads from MarketWatch:
A stock-market prediction that is 'kind of scary'
Get your money ready for a big S&P 500 rally
ECB cuts won't fix economy, but they will anger Germany
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