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Stocks Rally Ahead of Potential Fed Decision

Stocks rallied in Monday trading following one of Wall Street’s worst weeks of 2013, as investors put on a brave face ahead the possibility that Wednesday will see the Federal Reserve
Michael Teague is a staff writer for Equities.com. His previous experience includes three years as the associate editor of Los Angeles-based Al Jadid Magazine, a bi-annual review of the arts & culture of the Middle East, where he contributed many articles on the region in the form of features and book & film reviews. His educational background includes a BA in French literature from the University of California, Irvine, where he developed a startling proclivity for anything having to do with the 19th century.
Michael Teague is a staff writer for Equities.com. His previous experience includes three years as the associate editor of Los Angeles-based Al Jadid Magazine, a bi-annual review of the arts & culture of the Middle East, where he contributed many articles on the region in the form of features and book & film reviews. His educational background includes a BA in French literature from the University of California, Irvine, where he developed a startling proclivity for anything having to do with the 19th century.

Stocks rallied in Monday trading following one of Wall Street’s worst weeks of 2013, as investors put on a brave face ahead the possibility that Wednesday will see the Federal Reserve finally announce the much-dreaded reduction of its asset purchasing program, known as Quantitative Easing.

Come what may out of the Fed at the conclusion of Wednesday’s Open Market Committee meeting, the central bank had ostensibly good news for investors on Monday, saying that industrial production for the month of November rose 1.1 percent, the largest gain in exactly a year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.63 percent to 1,786.54, while the Dow Jones Industrials were 0.82 percent higher at 15,884.57, and the NASDAQ was up 0.71 percent to 4,029.52.

The S&P 500 was topped by semiconductor manufacturer LSI Corporation, whose shares were up a whopping 38.6 percent on news that the data-storage company would be acquired by data-storage firm Avago Technologies (AVGO) . Techs rose on the day’s heaviest trading on the benchmark index, with EMC Corporation (EMC) , Cisco Systems (CSCO) , and Oracle Group (ORCL) all higher by the closing bell.

On the Dow, IBM (IBM) jumped nearly 3 percent on uncharacteristic, and unexplained, volume, but one of the index’s most notable stories was ExxonMobil (XOM) , also up nearly 3 percent in afternoon trading before paring back gains slightly after Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded the stock from “neutral” to “buy”.

Aside from a broad rally in tech shares, the NASDAQ saw a number of impressive performances from healthcare stocks, with Solta Medical Inc. (SLTM) rising nearly 40 percent on news of its acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) . Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) was 4 percent higher after promising results from clinical trialsof one of its antibiotic treatments, while Novavax Inc. (NVAX) and NuPathe Inc. (PATH) were up 20 and 47 percent respectively.

Ailing insurer Tower Group Inc. (TWGP) rose nearly 7 percent as the company’s financial situation is slowly turning out to be not quite as severe as had been previously thought.

Investors looking for ways to play the European economic recovery will want to have a look at Equities.com’s guide to European Exchange Traded Funds.