Wall Street opens higher, boosted by Europe, U.S. data

Wall Street opens higher, boosted by Europe, U.S. data

22 October 2015, 15:47
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U.S. stocks received a boost from Europe on Thursday, advancing as the European Central Bank hinted it might expand its economic stimulus plan. 

Upbeat quarterly results from Dow industrials component McDonald’s Corp., also helped buoy the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 129, or 0.8%, to 17,295, the S&P 500 index gained 13 points, or 0.7%, to 2,032. The Nasdaq Composite picked up 37 points, or 0.8%, at 4,877. The main indexes are aiming to snap a two session losing streak.

Official data released earlier showed that the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, remaining at levels consistent with a fairly healthy labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week ended Oct. 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday. They remained not far from levels last seen in late 1973.

It was the 33rd straight week that claims were below the 300,000 threshold, which is normally associated with a firming jobs market.

In Europe, the European Central Bank left the interest rate on the bank’s main refinancing operation at 0.05%, while the rate on the ECB’s marginal lending facility stands at 0.3% and the rate paid on deposits parked overnight at the bank remains at minus 0.2%.

ECB Chief Mario Draghi meanwhile hinted more stimulus may follow.

European stocks were mostly higher with German DAX last trading up 1.89%, France's CAC higher 1.87% and London's FTSE gaining 0.20%.

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