Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not unveil much about the Fed’s plans of easing the market and boosting the economy. That didn’t stop Wall Street’s move higher today, though. Investors have been on the edge of their seats, hoping Bernanke and the Fed would give some sign that a new round of easing or asset purchases was underway. What they got today was a rain check until the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September, although Bernanke did put the onus on Congress and the White House to increase jobs and improve the current process for financial decisions. The bright side for bulls was that Bernanke said the Fed still has a range of options it has yet to utilize, perhaps quelling fears that the U.S. central bank had long ago run out of bullets to battle a flagging economy that many think is on the verge of entering another recession. Yesterday, the market was dominated by news that Steve Jobs had stepped down as the CEO of Apple (AAPL), with many investors speculating that the stock price would plummet. Turns out, Apple shares ended up just fine and are actually up 2 percent so far today. Oil prices slipped slightly lower today, and gold prices are building momentum to retake $1,800 an ounce.
Major U.S. Stock Indices
DJIA: 11,308.07 (+1.42 percent)
S&P 500: 1,179.28 (+1.73 percent)
NASDAQ: 2,479.62 (+2.48 percent)
Russell 2000: 690.11 (+2.33 percent)
In other news:
- Just a few days after a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake, east coasters now have to deal with Hurricane Irene, which could cause long-term power outages for millions of Americans. [Marketwatch]
- Three weeks after the U.S. credit downgrade, Standard & Poor’s is still catching heat for their decision and even some blame for the current market weakness. [Bloomberg]
- Despite denying over the past few months that it needed to raise capital to stay alive, Bank of America (BAC) certainly has raised a lot of capital recently. [CNBC]
- Speaking of BofA, one day into his hefty investment and Warren Buffett has already netted over a cool $1.3 billion on his $5 billion bet. [Fortune]
- Bailing out Greece: The problem that just won’t go away. [WSJ]
Check back as more news develops.