US Stocks saw their best gain in 2 weeks yesterday and turned positive in 2015 after the European Central Bank announced their long-awaited plan to initiate a bond buying program, in what has become affectionately known as Quantitative Easing, in an attempt to revive the slumping Eurozone economy. The ECB announced they will start buying $60 billion euros worth of bonds from different Eurozone countries starting in March. That news sent the Euro to a new low of $1.12 versus the dollar.
Shares of Starbucks traded sharply higher after the company reported earnings that were in-line with Wall St estimates. Sales rose 13% over the same period last year and the company increased their forecast for 2015 earnings. That news sent the stock 4.5% higher @ $86.50/share.
McDonald's is seeing their stock traded lower after the company reported earnings that were 21% lower over the same period last year, which ends a dismal year for McDonalds. The company also announced they expect a slow January and plan to slow spending to improve their balance sheet. McDonald's has been working to rejuvenate its business in recent months after posting some of the worst monthly sales figures in more than a decade.
Shares of GE are higher after the company posted higher than expected 4th quarter earnings. GE has done the best job of any major industrial company managing lower oil prices and a slump in Europe and still growing earnings.
And speaking of Oil. Crude inventories in the US are higher than they have been in over 80 years. US supplies currently stand at 390mm barrels which is a big reason the price of crude oil is down 58% from its peak last summer.