U.S. stocks rallied sharply for the second session in a row on essentially the same thesis - the European Central Bank would provide a new round of "shock and awe", potentially as soon as next week's meeting. A Bloomberg report on various measures Mario Draghi is pushing for created a second lift for the market in the afternoon:
- Draghi’s proposal involves Europe’s rescue funds buying government bonds on the primary market, flanked by ECB purchases on the secondary market to ensure transmission of its record-low interest rates. Further ECB rate cuts and long-term loans to banks are also up for discussion.
The S&P 500 gained 1.9% and NASDAQ 2.2%. The yield on the 10 year Treasury note jumped to 1.54% from 1.44% the day before as the "risk on" trade was front and center. An early morning report on 2nd quarter GDP also provided a lift as it was not "worse than expected".
- Gross domestic product expanded at a 1.5% annual rate between April and June, the weakest pace of growth since the third quarter of 2011. The previous quarter growth rate was 2.0%. Growth was weaker mostly because consumer spending slowed to a growth rate of just 1.5%. That was down from 2.4% in the first quarter. The savings rate reached 4%, up from 3.6% in the first quarter.
Consumer sentiment was also down slightly:
- The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment dipped to 72.3 from 73.2 in June.
Commodities rallied, but perhaps not as much as expected considering the tone of the day. Oil added 0.8% to $90.13, gold gained 0.2% to $1618 while silver also added 0.2% to $27.50.
British shares gained 1.0%, German shares 1.6% and French shares 2.3%.
- Spain's unemployment rate rose to 24.63% in the second quarter, up 0.19 percentage points from the previous three months. The rate is the highest in the eurozone. For those under 25 years of age, the unemployment rate climbed to 53%, from 52% in the previous quarter.
- Borrowing rates for Spain and Italy continued to drop; Spain's 10-year bond yield was at 6.73% while Italy's traded at 5.95%.
In Asia, China gained 2.0% and Japan 1.5%.