Futures for U.S. markets were strongly positive late Wednesday, showing investors believe there's still room northward for the Trump rally. The good mood was contagious in Asia, even in South Korea, where lawmakers are likely to vote to impeach their president as soon as Friday amid a widening political scandal.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials added 0.09% while Nasdaq rose 0.15% at 9:59 p.m. EST.
Although analysts say a pullback is bound to happen sometime, they see this bull market continuing as investors price in the expected low-tax, low-regulation environment of a Trump presidency. The euphoria is also attracting investors who are afraid of missing out on the rally.
Asia opened Thursday higher with Japan's Nikkei gained 0.82%, the Kospi in South Korea 1.05%, the ASX in Australia 1.22% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.56% at 10:22 p.m. EST.
The gain in South Korea comes in spite of the expected impeachment vote of President Park Geun-hye, who is embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal. The president had agreed to resign in April, but the growing scandal has fueled the political will to remove her from office sooner. If the vote is successful, the president would be temporarily replaced by the country's prime minister.
Once the constitutional court confirms the impeachment, new elections would be held within 60 days.
In Europe, the expected extension Thursday of the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program also supported shares in the U.S. and Europe. The S&P closed 1.3% higher, the Dow, 1.55%, to a record 19,542.62 points and Nasdaq, 1.14%. In Europe, Germany's Dax finished the day up 1.96%, the FTSE in London, 1.81%. and the Cac in Paris. 1.36%.
Moving to oil, a barrel of industry standard Brent crude traded at $53.02, an increase of 2 cents, while its West Texas counterpart cost $49.90 a barrel, or 13 cents higher at 10:05 p.m. EST. The prices are for futures with delivery in February and January respectively.
In after-hours trade, shares of Lululemon(LULU) - Get Report skyrocketed 14.05% to $68.25 after the Vancouver, Canada-based athletic clothing maker sprinted past analyst expectations for its third-quarter earnings.
The company said same store sales rose 4%, with that figure growing to 7% when including online sales. Overall the company had revenue of $544.4 million, above its earlier projections of $540.1 million and a 13% increase over the same period a year earlier.
For the final quarter, Lululemon said it expects sales to grow a similar mid-single-digit percentage to between $765 million to $785 million. It's also launched a $100 million share buyback.
In decliners, Verint Systems(VRNT) - Get Report shares tumbled 12.5% to $33.50 after the intelligence software company slipped to a loss in the third quarter. The company said it slipped to a loss of 13 cents per share after profit of 12 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier as revenue slid 8.9% to $258.9 million.