NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- New record highs were in sight for U.S. stocks after the European Central Bank announced it had started buying asset-backed securities in a move to ease monetary policy and resuscitate growth in the eurozone.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.8%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were gaining 0.82%, and Nasdaq futures were climbing 0.77%. If momentum can be sustained through to the market close, the S&P and Dow will notch new record closing highs after lifting the bar again on Thursday and close out its fifth week of gains.
Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks
European markets were rocketing higher, with Germany's DAX gaining as much as 2.1%, as the ECB made its announcement via Twitter.
"Following publication of legal act on the implementation of the ABS purchase programme, the Eurosystem has started the purchases on 21/11/2014," the central bank said.
Markets were already on a tear after ECB President Mario Draghi talked of monetary easing policies in a speech. Addressing a banking conference in Frankfurt, Draghi said the eurozone's inflation was proving challenging and that the ECB was prepared to do "what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible."
Boosting Asian markets, China cut its interest rates by 25 basis points, its first rate cut in two years, as a solution to stalled growth in the world's second-largest economy. The move comes a day after the country's latest manufacturing PMI numbers fell to a six-month low. The Shanghai Composite closed 1.4% higher.