Stocks slightly higher as ECB cuts rates

|By:, SA News Editor

Stock futures are modestly higher after the European Central Bank cut its deposit rate below zero and announced additional steps including targeted long-term loans, but the cuts were largely priced in; Dow +0.3%, S&P +0.2%, Nasdaq +0.1%.

Nevertheless, the move is historic, as it's the first time a major central bank has cut any main interest rate to negative in an attempt to spark lending and spending.

Major European indexes trade higher across the board, while Asian markets ended mixed ahead of the ECB's policy decision.

On the economic data front, initial claims for jobless benefits rose roughly in line with expectations, but focus will be on Friday's May jobs report, which is expected to show non-farm payroll growth of 210K.

Treasurys have regained part of early losses after the ECB news; the 10-year yield hovers at 2.61% after spending most of the overnight near 2.58%.

Still ahead: EIA natural gas inventory.