Stocks rally ahead of Fed decision
The Federal Reserve may say interest rates will remain low for at least 2 years. The Dow and S&P 500 enjoy their 5th straight gains. An Apple rally that began Monday boosts the Nasdaq. Dollar General's caution hurt discount retailers.
Apple (AAPL) was one of the main fuels for the rally, rising $11.42 to $541.24. On Monday, the shares dropped to as low as $521.58 in the morning but rebounded a bit in the afternoon. The rebound continued Tuesday.
Apple's surge pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) to its biggest one-day gain in more than two weeks, and the index moved into positive territory for December. The technology sector of the S&P 500 was the index's strongest.
The Dow closed up 79 points to 13,248. The S&P 500 was up 9 points to 1,428, and the Nasdaq added 35 points to 3,022, its first close above 3,000 since Dec. 3. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks, was up 35 points to 2,682. In addition, expectations that the Federal Reserve will affirm its commitment to support the economy in the event budget talks fail also was a factor. The Fed will announce its policy for the next two months on Wednesday.
The Fed is widely expected to reconfirm its expectation that interest rates will remain at ultra-low levels until mid-2015.
It is also expected to announce it is converting a program popularly known as Operation Twist into a broader bond-buying program that the media will call QE 4.
QE is short for quantitative easing, which essentially means the Fed buys outstanding government debt, helping to keep rates low. The bond-buying program, the Fed's 4th since the 2008-2009 market crash, have been the central bank's main tools for keeping rates low.
Twenty-six of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, along with 367 S&P 500 stocks and 82 Nasdaq-100 stocks.
In addition to Apple's gain, a number of big tech companies saw shares rise nicely, including Research In Motion (RIMM), Texas Instruments (TXN), Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC) and Amazon.com (AMZN).
Discount retailers were hurt by a note of caution about the holiday shopping season from Dollar General (DG), which was off $3.63 to $42.90. The company was worried about intensifying competition this holiday shopping season.
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) fell $5.90 to $64.68 while Dollar Tree (DLTR) fell $1.46 to $37.98.
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was off $1.26 to $70.89 and was the weakest of the 30 stocks. Target (TGT) dropped 53 cents to $61.43.
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Life is great!
Chris Van Hollen & Elizabeth Warren in 2016 & 2020!
God bless Mom & Pop stores!
God bless unions and living wages!
DIE big and unregulated corporations and DIE Ayn Rand Capitalism, DIE!
God bless America!
"Didn't we just have QE3 just a month or so ago? QE4 so soon?"
Yep. Get a copy of: Fiat Money Inflation in France by Andrew Dickson White. He compiled it in 1876 and read it to both parties in Congress. It's about Inflationists and the French Revolution Era.
Capital aggregators like mutual funds and pensions are withdrawing from private fixed income because they can get 1% risk free from the treasury. The printing press is crowding out private investment in enterprise and causing MALINVESTMENT in hard assets and government securities. This does not help the economy.
End the Fed and some other regulations and let markets get the rates optimized. No government policy has ever or could ever match the aggregate wisdom of markets over time.
It will be interesting to see the market impact of QE4. The law of diminishing returns is kicking in and even the insiders aren't trusting each other to continue running the market up. Eventually, Congress has to do SOMETHING to reestablish some firm footing under this economy. It's built on Fed money right now and that can't go on forever.
Why not pass a law that everything in Walmart has to be US made? Watch the factories go up and the jobs come back. Screw trickledown, we need a firehose!
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just over a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that ... More
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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