US stocks flat as ECB trims stimulus program


NEW YORK: Wall Street flat in opening trade Thursday as the European Central Bank extended its stimulus program but said it would decrease the pace of bond-buying.

The pace of ECB bond purchases will fall to 60 billion euros ($65 billion) per month in March from 80 billion euros per month. The program had originally been set to expire in March 2017, but was extended to December of next year.

“This new directive is being billed by many as a first step by the ECB toward tapering its asset purchases, yet the tonality of ECB President Draghi remains dovish,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up a hair at 19,552.10.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 percent to 2,239.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost less than 0.1 percent at 5,391.54.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 finished at records Wednesday.