Market Updates: European Stocks Soar On QE Expectations

European stocks are climbing higher along with U.S. futures, after yesterday’s ECB stimulus hopes, strong U.S. private sector jobs data and FOMC minutes. German factory orders fell by 2.4% M/M in November, far surpassing economists’ expectations of a 0.7% drop, further bolstering the case for additional stimulus. The euro is now $1.1717 vs. the dollar, its weakest price since Jan. 2006, after sinking as much as 0.7% yesterday.

Greek banks’ access to ECB funding beyond February will depend on Athens successfully completing a final bailout review and reaching a deal on a follow-up plan with its EU/IMF lenders, announced the European Central Bank this morning. The statement was the clearest warning yet that Athens cannot expect to rely on ECB funding if it backs out of its obligations under the €240B bailout program – a prospect which has been pitched by the leftist party Syriza.

Google’s slice of the U.S. search market, excluding mobile devices, fell to 75.3% last month from 77.5% in November, while Yahoo’s (YHOO) share jumped to 10% from 8%, according to analytics firm StatCounter. The changes were spurred by a deal in November where Yahoo replaced Google (GOOG, GOOGL) as the default search engine on Firefox browsers in the U.S. Google is also facing potentially larger losses on mobile devices amid reports that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is considering dropping it as the default search provider on its Safari browser.


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