Stocks Climbed after ECB Decision

U.S. stocks climbed in the early trading on Thursday, after the European Central Bank said it would decrease its monthly bond purchases beginning in April. The Dow Industrial Average lately gained 29.60 points, or 0.15%, to 19,579.22. The S&P 500 was up 1.45 points, or 0.06%, to 2,242.80. The Nasdaq Composite added 9.56 points, or 0.18%, to 5,403.33.

The European Central Bank unexpectedly cut its asset purchases to 60 billion euros per month from next April from the current 80 billion euros, it said on Thursday.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week, pointing to labor strength that underscores the economy’s sustained momentum. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended Dec. 3, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services ballooned to $42.6 billion in October, up nearly 18 percent from September’s $36.2 billion shortfall. Exports dropped $3.4 billion over the month to $186.4 billion, while imports climbed $3 billion to $229 billion.

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