By Steve Goldstein
European stocks rose on Thursday in a narrow but broad-based advance, as expectations build for a stronger economy after U.S. President Joe Biden’s first full day in office.
Up eight of the past 11 trading days, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.45% rose 0.3%, even as both the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.43% and French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.44% declined.
After fresh records for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -2.45% and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -3.52% , U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +0.31% inched higher.
Biden’s first day in office including the signing of a raft of executive orders, while he aims to get his $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus proposal through a U.S. Senate where Vice President Kamala Harris is the tiebreaking vote. Early signs from earnings season also have been encouraging.
Markets aren’t expecting any changes from the European Central Bank decision due at 7:45 a.m. Eastern, with attention turning to the press conference with ECB President Christine Lagarde.
Of stocks in the spotlight, Sage Group /zigman2/quotes/204528931/delayed UK:SGE -0.49% , the U.K. accounting software company, rose 5%, after reiterating full-year guidance and saying fiscal first-quarter recurring revenue rose 4.7%.
Zur Rose /zigman2/quotes/205626361/delayed CH:ROSE +0.24% also rose 5%, as the Swiss-based mail-order pharmacy and drug wholesaler said fourth-quarter revenue jumped 24%.
IG Group /zigman2/quotes/204134958/delayed UK:IGG -0.25% fell 2%, after agreeing to buy TastyTrade for $1 billion to expand into the U.S. options and futures market, which it says is bigger than the rest-of-world retail contract-for-difference, currency and European Turbo options markets combined.