US stocks gain on ECB stimulus, pharma deal

NEW YORK(AFP) - US stocks on Thursday snapped a two-day losing streak, finishing higher on news of European monetary stimulus and a US$21 billion (S$28 billion) pharmaceutical merger.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,134.31, up 37.41 points (0.21 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.55 (0.12 per cent) to 2,101.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.67 (0.32 per cent) at 4,982.81.

The European Central Bank announced it would launch Monday a 1.1-trillion-euro (S$1.6 trillion) bond-buying programme.

The ECB also raised its growth forecasts for the 19-nation euro zone.

Shares of pharma giant AbbVie fell 5.7 per cent after it announced it would buy leukaemia drug maker Pharmacyclics in the latest big pharma deal.

Pharmacyclics jumped 10.3 per cent.