NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks clawed back from session lows on Thursday as Wall Street came to terms with easing statements from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that investors mostly alreasy has heard.
"It's kind of the buy-the-rumor, sell-the-fact [reaction]," said Anthony Valeri, investment strategist for LPL Financial, in a call. "But I think QE should ultimately be longer-term positive for European markets. Most of it is the fact that much of this has been priced in over the past few months."
As expected, Draghi remained vague on timing of further quantitative easing plans, only noting that the "Governing Council will reassess the monetary stimulus achieved" early next year.
"In other words, like the Federal Reserve, the next move by the ECB -- both when and what -- will depend on the progression of the data," Sterne Agee's chief economist Lindsey Piegza wrote in a report. "It remains obvious the ECB is ready to take action if needed, potentially considering a plethora of asset classes save gold."
Easing plans could come as soon as January, Valeri added. "Lowering the growth expectations, lowering inflation forecast, some of the cautionary comments he made all suggest that QE is coming," he said. "It's been telegraphed in prior meetings but this was the latest and probably strongest voice supporting outright bond purchases."
The central bank cut its 2015 growth forecasts for the region to 1% from a September forecast of 1.6%. Eurozone inflation is expected to come in at 0.7%, down from a previous estimate of 1.1% and far from the ECB's 2% target.