Stock markets in the United States gained after the European Central Bank (ECB) reduced its main interest rate to 0.15%, the lowest on record, as it aims to aggressively improve the slow economic growth in the region. The ECB also reduced its interest rate deposits to -0.1%, making it the first major central bank to implement a negative rate.

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In a news conference, ECB President Mario Draghi said, “Today, we decided on a combination of measures to provide additional monetary policy accommodation and to support lending to the real economy.” He added, “The governing council is unanimous in its commitment to using unconventional instruments within its mandate should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation.”

The ECB implemented additional monetary accommodations after the European region’s growth rate during the first quarter was only 0.2% and the inflation rate was around 0.5%, significantly lower than its 2% target.

Stifel Nicolaus and Co. fund manager Chad Morganlander commented, “Mario Draghi is taking a sledgehammer to the dis-inflationary environment in the euro zone. His actions are well beyond expectations.”

On the other hand, Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, said, “The stimulus from Europe is a positive thing, especially when you compare it to the fact that the U.S. is starting to ease up. Stimulus is being added from a different market.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,833.41 (+0.57%)
  • S&P 500- 1,940.21 (+0.64 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,296.23 (+1.05%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,152.65 (+1.89%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,267.05 (+0.90%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,813.49 (-0.08%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,947.83 (+0.21%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,079.37 (+0.08%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,109.66 (-0.18%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,150.60 (+1.05%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) climbed more than 5% to $323.57 per share after the company released a video regarding its upcoming device and urged developers, journalists, and consumers to request an invitation to be able to attend to its launch event on June 18. The video increased speculations that it will unveil a 3D smartphone integrated with six cameras and retina-tracking technology.

Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) rose 12% to $9.05 per share after the company disclosed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cancelled a clinical hold on patient enrollment and dosing for its pancreatic cancer drug, PEGPH20, during the Phase 2 trial.

The stock value of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) dropped more than 9% to $2.97 per share after Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia described the presentation of CEO Don Mattrick as less upbeat.  According to the analyst, “This is important given a very big part of the investor thesis on ZNGA is Don successfully turning around the company; and there is very limited visibility on the product pipeline.”