ECB president Mario Draghi's statements and U.S. data sent markets higher.
First the scoreboard.
Dow: 13,292.00, +244.5, +1.87%
S&P 500: 1,432.12, +28.6, +2.04%
NASDAQ: 3,135.81, +66.5, +2.17%
And now the top stories:
- The day was front-loaded as markets had been gearing up for the European Central Bank meeting at 7:45 a.m. ET, and Mario Draghi's press conference at 8:30 a.m. ET. The ECB opted to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.75 percent.
- Right before the Draghi conference however, markets were given some more good news, as the ADP jobs report beat expectations. There were 201K new private sector jobs created in August, against expectations of 140K. July numbers were also revised up to 173K.
- The real market mover however was Mario Draghi's press conference in which he revealed Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), the ECB's new bond purchase program. The plan is built on 5 main pillars: 1) Strict conditionality will be applied to bond purchases 2) There will be unlimited purchases of bonds with a maturity of one to three years 3) The ECB will not have seniority 4) All transactions will be 'sterilized' 5) Purchases will be reported. BofA: More bad than good came out of today's ECB announcement >
- Also out at 8:30 a.m. was initial jobless claims. The new claims level dropped to 365,000, lower than expectations of a decline to 370K. The data showed an 11 percent improvement from a year ago.
- The ISM non-manufacturing index for August beat expectations rising to 53.7. The employment sub-index jumped to 53.8, from 49.3 the previous month. All the data seemed to point to a strong jobs report tomorrow. Now here is Business Insider's official prediction for Friday's jobs report >
- Markets went on a tear after the ECB announcement and strong U.S. economic data. The S&P500 hit a four-year high, the Dow closed up 244 points, and the Nasdaq closed at its highest level since November 2000. A trader told BI's Julia LaRoche that panic buying was behind some of the market rally.
- In Europe, Italy closed up 4 percent, and Spain was up nearly 5 percent. Eurozone blue chips jumped 3.2 percent to a six-month high according to Reuters.
- Gold futures for December jumped as high as $1,716.90 an ounce today to the highest level since March. Citi sees gold at $2,500 in six months >
- Amazon unveiled its latest tablet, the Kindle Fire HD today. There are three different versions of the tablet. Two of the tablets will have a 7-inch or 8.9-inch screen with 16 GB storage. There will also be a Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE and 32 GB of storage.
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