US stocks edge higher, Europe gains as ECB unveils stimulus

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging higher in midday trading, breaking a two-day losing streak, as investors were encouraged by positive earnings news.

Supermarket operator Kroger jumped 5 percent Thursday after reporting income that was ahead of what analysts were looking for. Costco rose 2 percent after its earnings beat estimates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,141 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained three points, also 0.2 percent, to 2,102. The Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,986.

European stocks rose after the European Central Bank upgraded its growth forecast and said its bond-buying stimulus program would start on Monday.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.13 percent.