Wall St. Rises After Ecb Rate Cut; Oil Slides

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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Wall Street rose on Thursday after the European Central Bank cut key interest rates and boosted its stimulus program, but a decline in energy stocks capped gains.

The ECB pushed deposit rate deeper into negative territory and increased its asset-buying program to 80 billion euros a month from 60 billion euros in an effort to boost growth in the region.

“We’ve been conditioned that the central banks are going to always bail us out. Whether that bailout will do anything, or work, doesn’t matter at this point,” said Matthew Tuttle, chief executive, Tuttle Tactical Management in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Crude prices fell about 2 percent. Reuters reported that a proposed meeting between oil producers to discuss an output freeze was unlikely to take place on March 20 as Iran had not committed to participate. [O/R]

At 9:40 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 43.18 points, or 0.25 percent, at 17,043.54, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 6.34 points, or 0.32 percent, at 1,995.6 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 24.23 points, or 0.52 percent, at 4,698.61.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by consumer discretionary .SPLRCD and healthcare .SPXHC stocks.

Apple (AAPL.O) gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, while Goldman Sachs (GS.N) influenced the Dow.

Exxon’s (XOM.N) 1.4 percent fall weighed the most on the S&P and the Dow.

While economic data from Asia and Europe show faltering growth, a recovery in the U.S. economy has been gathering momentum.

The Fed has said it is on track to raise interest rates gradually this year, but its decision will depend largely on the economy’s capacity to absorb an increase amid the global economic turmoil. The Fed is set to meet on March 15-16.

U.S. jobless claims fell more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 last week, its lowest since October.

Shares of Dollar General (DG.N) were up 6.4 percent at $80 after it reported better-than-expected same-store sales growth. Rival Dollar Tree (DLTR.O) was up 3 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,760 to 881. On the Nasdaq, 1,564 issues rose and 681 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 40 new highs and 29 new lows.