Stocks higher after ECB statement

Stocks are poised for a breakout as the corporate earnings season gets into full swing.

S&P 500 futures are up 0.25 percent and pushing through the top of a triangle formation on its chart that's been in place since the beginning of March. Yesterday it refused to retest the bottom of that range, potential evidence that buyers still outnumber sellers.

Markets are up about half a percent across the Atlantic after the European Central Bank issued its monetary-policy statement as expected. Chief Mario Draghi starts a press conference at 8:30 a.m. ET, which will be monitored for his thoughts about the region's long-term needs for stimulus measures.

Asia was modestly lower overnight as profit-takers drove Shanghai down 1 percent overnight and Mumbai slid 0.8 percent. Oil continues to advance.

Now that the ECB is out of the way, attention can return to earnings and domestic news. Semiconductor giant Intel rose 4 percent after reporting better-than-expected earnings and indicating it would cut capital spending to boost profitability. Railroad CSX gained 3.5 percent after beating consensus on the top and bottom lines. Bank of America edged lower after net income and revenue missed.

The economic calendar features the New York Federal Reserve's Empire manufacturing index at 8:30 a.m. ET, industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m. ET, and NAHB's housing-market index at 10 a.m. ET. Crude oil inventories are due at 10:30 a.m. ET, and the Fed's Beige Book survey of economic conditions follows at 2 p.m. ET. Tomorrow brings initial jobless claims, housing starts, building permits and the Philadelphia Fed's regional index. NetFlix, and SanDisk release earnings this afternoon.

In other company news, Alcatel-Lucent tanked 15 percent after agreeing to a takeover by Nokia that was less favorable than initially hoped. Pinnacle Entertainment may also rise after the Wall Street Journal reported that Gaming & Leisure Properties raised its bid for the company's real-estate assets. Google is little-changed after European regulators formally accused it of antitrust violations.

China also reported overnight that gross domestic product grew 7 percent in the first quarter. It matched expectations but was still the country's weakest reading in years. It also came just one day after very disappointing trade data.

Oil rose 1 percent and continues to rebound from March's six-year low. Metals are slightly lower. The U.S. dollar is up across the board.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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