U.S. stock market climbs after solid data, ECB announcement

U.S. stock-market indexes climbed modestly on Thursday, as the European Central Bank announced that it plans to end its bond-buying program at the end of the year but pledged to keep rates at present levels until at least next summer.

A flurry of stronger-than-expected economic data also lent support to stocks.

What are markets doing?

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.10%  advanced 9 points, or 0.3%, to 2,784, with a 0.5% decline in shares of financails limiting gains from technology and consumer discretionary, both up 0.7%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.50%  gained 40 points, or 0.2%, to 7,752, setting an intraday record. The tech-heavy index is on track to close in record territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.14%  rose 37 points, or 0.2%, to 25,241.

The upbeat trading action came after declines on Wednesday, when the main benchmarks ended near session lows. Stocks fell after the Fed raised interest rates and struck an unexpectedly hawkish tone for the rest of 2018. The central bank hinted at two more hikes this year, rather than the one additional move that had previously been predicted.

What is driving the market?

Central bank activity was the primary driver of the day. Meeting just a day after the Fed lifted interest rates for the second time this year, the ECB was in the spotlight on Thursday after it left interest rates unchanged and laid out plans to taper its program of monthly bond purchases later this year. The central bank is aiming to bring them to a halt by the end of 2018.

Aside from the central banks, trade worries continued to be on traders’ minds on Thursday. President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to announce tariffs on tens of billions of dollars in Chinese goods as early as Friday, a move that

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