Stocks in the U.S. were teetered back and forth in early trading today but have since traded flat after the Federal Reserve made its announcement. The Fed acknowledged the sluggish economy but gave no indication of additional stimulus after QE2 ends. The $600 billion Treasury bond buying program is scheduled to end at the end of this month. The Fed will also keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period of time, and economists believe it’ll be at least another year before the economy is read for a rate hike. Fed Chief Ben Bernanke is expected to address the market soon, and is expected to lower the economy’s growth outlook for 2011 again. While stocks have remained flat, commodities have moved a bit higher today. Oil prices are pushing close to $95 a barrel. Gold and silver also inched up.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 12,184.07 (-0.05 percent)
S&P 500: 1,295.97 (+0.03 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,688.46 (+0.04 percent)
Russell 2000: 808.55 (+0.27 percent)
In other news:
- FedEx (FDX) announced strong growth as quarterly profits by 33 percent and revenue rose 12 percent. The company topped analyst estimates in net income, revenue and guidance for 2012. [Marketwatch]
- The housing market has yet to recover but adjustable-rate mortgage loans (and the house flippers who love them) is ready for a comeback. [NY Times]
- Yahoo! (YHOO) is rumored to be mulling a purchase of video streaming site Hulu, which had considered an IPO of its own until pulling out in December. [Economist]
- Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, expects Greece will default and he isn’t alone. [CNBC]
- A “glitch” in Medicaid could cost the government an additional $450 billion as it allows 3 million additional middle-class Americans eligible for the plan. [Forbes]
Check back for more news.