The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stocks Thursday rose to new highs in opening trade after the European Central Bank unveiled a series of interest rate cuts to stimulate growth and counter deflation.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 16.03 points (0.10 percent) to 16,753.56.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.38 (0.12 percent) to 1,930.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 12.63 (0.30 percent) at 4,264.27.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 are above their all-time closing highs, hit earlier this week.

Investor attention was keenly fixed on Frankfurt, where the ECB announced it is lowering all three of its key interest rates, which have been on hold at record lows all this year.

The changes include a so-called “negative interest rate,” which means banks will be charged for depositing their cash with the central bank.

Equities indices jumped in Britain, France and Germany, where the DAX 30 rose above 10,000 points for the first time. - Sapa-AFP