Daily News 01/22/2015

January 22, 2015

Thursday – January 22

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a big Quantitative Easing, or QE, style of stimulus this morning at its monthly meeting. The ECB said that it would purchase up to 60 billion euros per month in Bonds in an effort to fight off deflation and to promote economic growth. ECB President Mario Draghi also said that the central bank would extend the program, if conditions warrant. The eurozone region has seen economic turmoil for the past five years and these actions could help pull it out of its problems.

Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits fell in the latest week, down from seven-month highs in the previous week. The Labor Department reported that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims declined by 10,000 in the latest week to 307,000, but above the 300,000 expected. The uptick in the previous week could be due to the gyrations in hires and fires left over from the seasonal holiday employment picture. Those who continue to collect unemployment benefits increased by 15,000 to 2.44 million in the week ended January 10.

Motor club AAA reports that U.S. motorists are paying the lowest average gas prices since April 2009, and the average price is likely to drift below $2 per gallon before the end of January. The national average price for a regular gallon of gas at the pump is $2.04. The price has now fallen 117 consecutive days, for a total of $1.29 per gallon during the decline. Today’s price is down $1.23 in less than a year. AAA predicts the average price to remain below $3 in 2015.