The U.S. stock market continued its sharp rebound Thursday following a second day of gains in Europe.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed the day up 323 points, or 2%, turning positive for the year. All 30 companies on the index were higher, giving the Dow a second day of strong gains after rising 213 points on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite also continued to surge one day after they each halted five-day losing streaks.
While the euro continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar, European markets surged again on Thursday as pressure mounted for the European Central Bank to introduce new stimulus measures to invigorate the region’s economy. Both London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX jumped more than 2% in trading for the day as investors bet on the prospect of a government bond-buying program from the ECB.
The European gains provided a further boost to U.S. stocks, which were also bolstered by Wednesday’s minutes release from the mid-December meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC). The Fed gave no indication that it would change plans to be “patient” when it comes to interest rate hikes that are likely to come sometime later in 2015.
The latest market rally comes after a rough start to 2015 as stocks were dragged down by sinking oil prices and concerns over the European economy. The price of crude oil inched higher on Thursday, but prices still remain under $50 per barrel — a 5 and 1/2 year low.