Last Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET
Asian stocks rallied and European shares are trading higher in the aftermath of the US stock market surge yesterday. The catalyst for the move was positive economic data from Europe, China and the U.S. , all of which gave investors confidence that the recovery is on track. The Dow gained 273 points, or 2.8% to 10,172, while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 saw similar gains.
After a stream of bad news from across the Atlantic, investors found solace when the European Central Bank (ECB) increased its economic growth forecast to 1 percent for this year, higher than the previous estimate of 0.8 percent.
Chinese exports grew by 48.5 percent, the most in 6 years, a sign that the fastest-growing major economy will continue to fuel the global recovery. Still, there is a concern that the country is overheating--today, a new report said that China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.1 percent in May, to a 19-month high. The government's official inflation limit is 3 percent.
Domestically, there was a tiny bright spot on the nation's employment front. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to 456,000 last week and continuing claims declined to 4.46 million, the lowest since December 2008.
The Fed reported that U.S. household net worth is now down $11.4 trillion dollars from the peak in 2007, but up $6.3 trillion from the low point in the first quarter of 2009.
Today, the focus will be on the May Retail Sales report, which showed a decline of 1.2% from the previous month. The report was worse than expected, and futures started trading lower upon the release.
Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.