November 21, 2017

Shares Move Up After Fed Release

Wall Street traded strongly higher on Wednesday as investors scooped up technology and financial shares that have lagged gains in other sectors recently.

The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index was up 1.1 percent in afternoon trading, hitting its highest level ever and breaking a record that had stood since October 2007. The benchmark index hit and then surpassed 1,567.10 to break its previous intraday high.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.9 percent in afternoon trading and the Nasdaq composite index added 1.7 percent. The Dow closed at a fresh record on Tuesday.

Financial shares helped lead Wednesday’s advance, with the S.P. financial sector index gaining 1.1 percent and the S.P. information technology sector index up 1.7 percent. In the past month, both sectors have lagged as investors pushed into more defensive areas, including health care and consumer staples.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in March, released early on Wednesday, showed that a few policy makers expected to taper the pace of asset purchases by midyear and end them later this year, while several others expected to slow the pace a bit later and halt the quantitative easing program by year-end.

But because the meeting referenced in Wednesday’s minutes occurred before last week’s unemployment data — which showed that job creation was unexpectedly weak in March — the market may place less importance on it, said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati.

Earlier, encouraging data from China buoyed investors’ optimism. Imports of key commodities rebounded in March, signaling domestic demand was picking up and would help drive the economy. Asian markets ended moderately higher, and European stocks were trading ahead about 2 percent in afternoon trading.

Investors were also positioning for the start of corporate earnings season. Among the 5 percent of S.P. 500 companies that have reported results so far, almost three-quarters have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Family Dollar Stores reported weaker-than-expected profit on Wednesday. The stock started the day lower, but was up 0.3 percent by early afternoon.

Health Management Associates cut its outlook for 2013 earnings and revenue, citing weak patient admissions in the first quarter of the year. The stock slumped 16.8 percent.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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