NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock markets were eyeing even more record closes on Friday afternoon, even though some of the earlier momentum had abated. Benchmark indices remained in the green, though some of the day's enthusiasm cooled after Europe and China took decisive monetary easing action earlier Friday.
The S&P 500 climbed 0.46% to 2,062.16, around 10 points lower than its all-time high set right after market open earlier. The Dow Jones industrial Average added 0.47% and the Nasdaq gained 0.26%. Even if stocks fall further, any gain will net the S&P and Dow new record closing highs after lifting the bar again on Thursday.
"Easier money responds well," Croft Funds' portfolio manager Kent Croft told TheStreet. "Europe and China are the two biggest worries, given the size of their economies, and have been for some time so any incremental good news coming out of those countries is very positive for the markets."
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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. European markets rocketed higher, with Germany's DAX up 2.6%, as the ECB made its announcement.
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."