Major averages finished roughly flat to slightly up near the top of their respective trading ranges yesterday on mixed volume. The NASDAQ Composite logged another all-time high on higher volume. Big NASDAQ names like GOOGL and AAPL posted pocket pivots in a general show of constructive action among these "barometer" stocks while FB followed through on yesterday's breakout.
The European Central Bank, as expected, left official interest rates unchanged on Thursday. The bank's main lending rate, known as the refi rate, remains at 0%, while the rate paid on deposits left overnight at the ECB remains at -0.4%. The ECB repeated, in its statement, that it expects rates to remain at present or lower levels for an "extended period." The bank also repeated that its program of monthly asset purchases of 80 billion euros will continue until at least the end of March 2017.
Futures moved lower on the news as markets were hoping the ECB would definitively extend its monthly asset purchases out beyond March 2017.
Japan, meanwhile, said it would not rule out taking interest rates deeper into negative territory in hopes of achieving the 2.0% inflation target.
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