Wall Street surges on ECB moves

ECB liquidity measures, rate cuts help drive US stocks to new closing records.

US stocks have climbed to never-before-seen levels after the European Central Bank delivered fresh stimulus to the flagging eurozone economy and moved one key interest rate into negative territory for the first time.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 95.87 points, or 0.57%, to 16,833.40.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 11.89 points, or 0.62%, to 1,939.77, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 43.65 points, or 1.03%, at 4,295.29.

The Dow and S&P 500 both bettered the record highs they set earlier this week, with the S&P 500 securing its fourth record close in the past five trading days.

Driving the positive sentiment was optimism surrounding the potential influence of the ECB to revive the eurozone economy after it further cut all three of its key interest rates, which have been steady at record lows all year.

The most publicised move was the decision to shift the deposit rate -- the rate banks receive for depositing cash to the central bank -- from 0 to -0.10%. However, the ECB also moved the central refinancing to 0.15% from 0.25% and the marginal lending facility rate to 0.40% from 0.75%.

New liquidity measures were also announced in a desperate attempt to stave off the threat of deflation in the eurozone.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England kept rates on hold amid signs of continued recovery in the British economy.

In the US, the only data release of note was weekly jobless claims numbers, with the data hovering around a seven-year low despite a slight lift in claims last week. The figures bode well for a strong jobs report tomorrow.

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