US stocks rise as May retail sales top expectations

New York: Wall Street stocks rose early Thursday following better-than-expected US retail sales data and a European Central Bank decision that lifted European markets.

The ECB move comes on the heels the Federal Reserve decision Wednesday to raise the key interest rates, and accelerate rate hikes into 2019, that weighed on US stocks.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 percent at 25,282.11.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 percent to 2,784.71, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6 percent to 7,741.42.

US retail and food services sales jumped 0.8 percent in May, the strongest since November and double the rate economists were expecting.

The ECB, meanwhile, announced plans to taper bond-buying stimulus after September and end the program completely in December. The central bank intends to keep benchmark interest rates at current levels through the summer of 2019.

Bourses in Paris and Frankfurt both rose about one percent.

Comcast jumped 4.3 percent after bidding $65 billion for key film and television assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, topping an earlier offer from Disney. Disney climbed 2.0 percent and Fox won 1.3 percent.