Text size

Christine Lagarde (C), president of the European Central Bank, in 2020.

Photograph by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Global stocks continued to gain ground on Thursday ahead of what’s expected to be an easing signal from the European Central Bank, as earnings results continue to demonstrate corporate health.

The Kospi Composite rose 1.1% in Seoul and the Hang Seng rose 1.8% in Hong Kong, with Japanese markets shut for a holiday.

READ MORE

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%.

Futures on the S&P 500 edged 0.2% higher, after the

S&P 500

rose Wednesday for the second day in a row, adding 2.4% over the two-day period.

As volatile as stocks have been this week, the U.S. government bond market also has been gyrating. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which fell to 1.15% on Tuesday, was 1.29%.

The European Central Bank meets for the first time since switching to a symmetric 2% inflation target. “The upshot, in our view, is that any tightening is likely to be further away than would have been the case with the old target,” said Paul Jackson, global head of asset allocation research at Invesco.

Earnings reports, so far, have demonstrated the ability of companies to recover from Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on activity. Of the 82 S&P 500 companies that have reported results, earnings per share growth has been 105% on a 16% increase in sales, according to FactSet.

Texas Instruments

is expected to see pressure after the microchip maker’s revenue forecast came in below expectations. Telecoms giant

AT&T

and chemicals company

Dow

report results, with social-media platform

Twitter

and messaging app

Snap

reporting after the closing bell.

Unilever

shares slumped 4% in London, as the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream warned its operating margin for the year will be flat due to cost inflation.

Read More