US Stocks Follow Europe’s Lead

U.S. stocks continued their gains Thursday in tandem with the European markets — which received a jolt following news that the European Central Bank (ECB) will maintain current interest rates.

During the ECB’s press conference Thursday, ECB president Mario Draghi cut growth and inflation forecasts for the euro zone and hinted that he’s prepared to ramp-up stimulus measures as China’s economic woes, FX pressures and other factors weigh on the euro zone.

“Overall, we expect the economic recovery to continue, albeit at a somewhat weaker pace than earlier expected, reflecting in particular the slowdown in emerging market economies, which is weighing on global growth and foreign demand for euro area exports,” Draghi said during the ECB’s press conference.

At 2:19 p.m. EDT the S&P 500 was up 1.81 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,950.67 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 12.33 points, or 0.08 percent, to 16,363.71. The Nasdaq took a dip compared to gains earlier in the day, down 14.20 points, or 0.30 percent, to 4,735.78.

European markets were still in the green at press time. At 2:19 p.m. EDT, Britain’s FTSE was up 110.79 points, or 1.82 percent, to 6,194.10; Germany’s DAX increased 269.79 points, or 2.68 percent, to 10,317.84; and France’s CAC 40 rose 98.87 points, or 2.17 percent, to 4,653.79.

A holiday closure at China’s major markets (Hang Seng and the SSE Composite) on Thursday and Friday may be giving global markets a break from China’s stock market turmoil, experts say.

Meanwhile, footwear stocks continue to track U.S. and global markets with Nike Inc., Caleres Inc., Wolverine World Wide Inc. and Genesco Inc. in the green at press time. Shoe Carnival Inc. continued to decline on the heels of a mixed Q2 finish, down 5.36 percent. Skechers USA Inc. and Under Armour Inc. also declined 1.50 percent and 0.17 percent respectively.

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