IBM results halt US index gains in volatile day - New York Report

US STOCKS edged up in a choppy session yesterday as traders digested reports that new stimulus would be announced by the European Central Bank at its meeting today, while declines in IBM limited gains.

Market participants have been looking for more aggressive measures from central banks to combat the risk of deflation and a weakening Eurozone economy.

Media reported the ECB’s executive board has proposed a program that would enable the bank to buy €50bn (£32.8bn) in bonds per month starting in March.

Regardless of the size of the expected purchase programme, there are many details to be decided in terms of the assets available for purchase and how those will affect individual members of the bloc.

US stocks would benefit from a program to support the Eurozone economy because Europe is one of the United States’ most important trade partners.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.05 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 17,554.28, the S&P 500 gained 9.57 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 2,032.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.58 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 4,667.42.

IBM shares fell 3.1 per cent to $152.09 the day after reporting lower-than-expected revenues and giving a 2015 profit target that was below estimates. The stock weighed the most on the price-weighted Dow industrials.

Netflix jumped 17.3 per cent to $409.28 a day after the streaming and rental video company posted earnings above expectations and said it was growing faster overseas.