European stocks closed higher Friday, with an assist from further European Central Bank dovish signals. The ECB's chief economist, Peter Praet, suggested Friday that interest rates could be cut further. He also expressed openness to "helicopter money," the idea of the central bank effectively delivering money directly to the people, rather than via loans to banks or purchases of assets.
The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials rallied on Friday, buoyed by an advance in heath-care and financial stocks that helped shares notch a fifth straight week of gains. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials ended in positive territory for the year, while the Dow logged six days of gains in a row-the longest winning streak since early October.
Stocks in China rose Monday after authorities signaled a loosening stance toward margin trading, the practice of using borrowed money to buy shares. Those gains came after a state-backed company called China Securities Finance Corp. published new interest rates on a range of loans that it gives to brokerages.
Based on MarketWatch materials