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Wall Street edges higher after ECB statement, retail sales data


By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks ticked higher on Thursday after the promised not to raise zone interest rates before the middle of next year and on better-than-expected May

The bank's statement came as a relief to investors, especially after the raised rates for the second time this year on Wednesday and hinted at two more hikes by the end of 2018.

ECB, however, said it would wind down its 2.55 trillion stimulus program by the close of the year.

Shares of banks, which rely on higher interest rates to boost profits, took a hit, with J.P Morgan Chase's 1.8 percent fall weighing the most on the 500.

"You have the yield curve continuing to flatten, which is not great for financial stocks," said Michael Antonelli, managing director, at Robert W. Baird in

The yield spread between U.S. 30-year bonds and U.S. 5-year notes narrowed to the flattest level since January 2012 on Wednesday after the Fed decision.

Data on Thursday showed U.S. increased more than expected in May, its biggest advance since November 2017 that indicated an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

Other data showed a further tightening in labor market conditions, with the number of Americans on jobless rolls declining to a near 44-1/2-year low.

At 11:46 a.m. ET the was down 8.52 points, or 0.03 percent, at 25,192.68, the 500 was up 7.60 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,783.23 and the Composite was up 62.77 points, or 0.82 percent, at 7,758.46.

Seven of the 11 sectors were higher, led by a 1.2 percent gain in the telecom services index.

jumped 2.9 percent after the company offered $65 billion to lure it away from a merger with

Disney also rose 1.9 percent, providing the biggest boost to the

dropped 4.1 percent after Nomura cut its price target on the business software maker's stock.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the

The S&P index recorded 27 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the recorded 119 new highs and 19 new lows.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 21:28 IST