The Dax has cleared 10,000 this morning while the Dow has broken through 16,750 to a new all-time high and the S&P continues to rally in response to a series of decisive monetary stimulus moves from the ECB. The central bank has delivered even more than hoped in a bit to get the European economy moving again and boost inflation back up toward its 2.0% target rate. The ECB has launched a 5-step program stimulus program today, exceeding market expectations. 1) Cut the benchmark rate, the marginal lending rate and put the deposit rate below zero so banks have to pay to park cash at the ECB 2) Launch a new $400B LTRO program targeted at business and household borrowing, particularly to support housing lending 3) Prepare to purchase ABS (asset backed securities) from private non-financial companies (ie get ready for QE to come) 4) Prolong fixed rate, full allotment tenders 5) Suspend weekly liquidity sterilizations Having taken €1 trillion off its balance sheet between September 2012 and March 2014 through its stealth taper (previous LTRO repayments) the ECB certainly has the firepower available to support the European economy as needed. The question until today was whether the central bank has the willpower to do what it takes to get the economy moving again. Today’s announcements and the market reaction to them indicates that the street is taking this as a sign that the ECB is serious about stimulus and has planted both feet firmly in the dovish camp, igniting global indices and undermining EUR. Perhaps most significantly, gold has come back to life against the Euro (XAUEUR), confirming the ECB’s shift into the dovish camp and the potential for more QE stimulus down the road. Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: US jobless claims 323K street 310K ECB interest rate 0.15%, cut from 0.25% to 0.10% had been expected ECB marginal lending facility 0.40% cut from 0.70% to 0.60% had been expected ECB deposit facility rate 0.10% cut to (0.10%) as expected UK interest rate 0.50% no change as expected UK QE Target £375B no change as expected France unemployment rate 10.1% vs street 10.4% vs previous 10.2% France unemployment change 23K vs street 20K vs previous (41K) Germany factory orders 6.3% vs street 4.6% UK Halifax house prices 8.7% vs street 7.4% Eurozone retail sales 2.4% vs street 1.2% South Korea GDP 3.9% as expected Australia trade balance ($122M) vs street $510M China HSBC service PMI 50.7 vs previous 51.4 Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EDT Canada Ivey PMI street 56.0 vs previous 54.1 10:30 am EDT US natural gas street 116 BCF