The People's Bank of China cut its deposit and lending interest rates by 0.25 percentage point on Thursday morning, causing U.S. stocks to rise in early-morning trading. 

China hadn't cut interest rates since 2008, but the bank made the decision to do so today to combat a slowing Chinese economy. The Chinese economy is considered one of the biggest drivers of the U.S. and European economies, according to CNN.

Manufacturing has been slowing in China, a side effect of the European economic crisis. China's gross domestic product was growing at a rate of 8.9 percent, but has fallen to 8.1 percent recently, according to CNN.

The bank cute the interest rate to 6.31 percent.

"We believe that the rate cut will be effective in meeting the short-term objective of getting credit and the economy moving," said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist for Capital Economics, in an interview with CNN.   

In the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the Joint Economic Committee but did not say whether the federal government plans to offer another stimulus package.