Stocks in the US and Europe had a banner day to kick off the new week with the Dax breaking through 12,000 to a new all-time high and the Dow posting a 200 plus point gain on the day. Even the Canadian resource weighted S&P/TSX Index was able to shrug off weak commodity prices and post a 100 point rally which seems to bode well for Australian stocks on the open today. Traders focused on the potential benefits from the ECB’s new asset purchase program after the central bank announced that it purchased over €9B in the first few days of the program. To hit €60B per month the central bank needs to average purchases of €12-15B a week depending on whether the month has 4 or 5 weeks. So far so good it seems. Stocks also responded to bullish comments from ECB President Draghi who suggested falling energy prices, reforms and monetary stimulus are helping the European economy to turn the corner. If so, this could help to offset softness in China. US indicators came in a bit soft today but the slate was secondary reports that are unlikely to sway the Fed at its meeting this week. Crude oil tumbled again today and remains under pressure indicating that the recent consolidation phase was likely a rest stop within a larger bear market. With producers cutting exploration but still reluctant to cut actual production the market share war appears to still be going on full force with demand prospects still in question. Corporate News There has been no major news after the US close today. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US Empire Manufacturing 6.9 vs street 8.0 US industrial production 0.1% vs street 0.2% US housing market index 53 vs street 56 UK Rightmove house prices 5.4% vs previous 6.6% ECB QE bond purchases €9.75B in the first week of the program (partial – 3 days). Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:30 am AEDT Australia RBA meeting minutes 11:30 am AEDT Singapore electronic exports street (7.7%) TBA Bank of Japan decision no change expected 9:00 am GMT Norway trade balance street NOK 27.1B 10:00 am GMT Germany ZEW current street 52.0 10:00 am GMT Germany ZEW expectations street 59.4 10:00 am GMT Eurozone consumer prices street (0.3%) 10:00 am GMT Eurozone core CPI street 0.6% 8:30 am EDT US housing starts street 1,040K 8:30 am EDT US building permits street 1,065K 8:30 am EDT Canada manufacturing sales street (1.2%)