Currencies went wild.

First the scoreboard:

Dow: 14,603, +53.6 pts, +0.3 per cent
S&P 500: 1,558, +4.5 pts, +0.2 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,220, +2.2 pts, +0.0 per cent

And now the top stories:

  • The action started over night during the Asian trading session.  The Bank of Japan held and concluded its first interest rate meeting with uber-dove Haruhiko Kuroda at the helm.  Expectations were high that Kuroda would be the man to unleash Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” — a plan to stimulate the economy through ultra aggressive monetary policy.  Kuroda didn’t disappoint.  Japan’s stock market surged and the yen tanked.
  • Next up was the European Central Bank, which kept its monetary policy unchanged.  ECB president Mario Draghi reiterated his commitment to keep rates low, citing existing downside risks to the economy.  The euro initially fell on those words.  However, the euro quickly recovered those losses and ended the day way up.
  • In the U.S., the initial weekly unemployment claims report spiked to 385k, which was much higher than the 353k expected by economist.  However, the report was rather noisy.  “The labour department noted that the Easter holiday and spring break added to claims volatility and that two states were estimated due to the Easter holiday,” said TD Securities Gennadiy Goldberg. “It is worth noting that some schools lay off employees during the spring break holiday, helping to explain the spike in the series during this week.”
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