Stocks Rally For Second Straight Day As FOMC Looms

Michael Teague |

Bernanke cardWall Street took as deep a breath as possible ahead of Ben Bernanke's press conference on Wednesday that is expected to be a definitive statement on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy in the near-term

Markets reached skyward for a second straight session on Tuesday as the Federal Open Market Committee convened for its monthly two-day meeting.

It is no secret by now that investors and markets the world over are anxiously awaiting Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s press briefing tomorrow at the conclusion of the meeting. The Fed began floating serious talk about the end, or “tapering,” of its massive $85 billion per month fiscal stimulus program over the last few weeks, just when it seemed that the central banks of the world’s developed nations had finally warmed up to the notion of experimental monetary policy.

This has made for a situation in which statements issuing from the Fed, as well as high-profile conjecturing about Fed policy have more or less outweighed economic data points in their ability to push markets either up or down. The U.S. central bank, despite the increasing recent confusion in its messaging, has more or less held to its original assertion that unemployment figures would have to drop much further while inflation would have to increase before any significant changes to its bond and asset buying regime will be made.

The Fed is also likely to provide updates to its growth projections for the U.S. economy for 2013 to 2015.

The S&P 500 was up 0.78 percent to close at 1,651.80 points, while the Dow advanced 0.91 percent to a 15,318.23 point finish, and the Nasdaq gained 0.87 percent to end the day at 3,482.18 points.

Tech shares led the S&P 500 higher, with advances of over 3 percent for Xerox (XRX), Micron Technology (MU) and SanDisk Corp. (SNDK), but oil stocks also figured prominently for the second day in a row. Newfield Exploration (NFX), Marathon Oil (MRO), WPX Energy (WPX) and Range Resources Corporation (RRC) were all up 3 percent or more as well.

The Dow was led by General Electric (GE), up 2.5 percent on high volume, followed by Unitedhealth Group (UNH) and Verizon Communications (VZ). All components on the index ended the day in the positive.

Dell Inc. (DELL) edged up later in the trading session as billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn rebutted accusations from the company’s board, and reassuring shareholders that his buyout plan was indeed fully financed.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
WPX WPX Energy Inc. 15.21 0.21 1.40 6,655,269
UNH UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (DE) 160.73 -0.21 -0.13 3,480,032
GE General Electric Co 31.34 -0.05 -0.16 21,401,028
MRO Marathon Oil Corporation 18.20 0.31 1.73 16,678,730
SNDK SanDisk Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 49.81 -0.06 -0.12 10,650,716
RRC Range Resources Corporation 36.36 -0.23 -0.63 3,669,015
XRX Xerox Corporation 9.50 0.05 0.53 10,333,649
NFX Newfield Exploration Company 45.95 -0.16 -0.35 2,605,466
MU Micron Technology Inc. 18.79 0.31 1.68 25,887,613
CIR CIRCOR International Inc. 62.49 -0.93 -1.47 57,122

Comments

Emerging Growth

GSV Capital Corp

GSV Capital Corp is an externally managed, non-diversified closed-end management investment company. The Company has elected to be treated as a business development company.

Private Markets

WayBetter

The spark hit Jamie when he saw co-workers competing to lose weight. Instead of pizzas and subs, they were eating salads and jogging along the river. Some were sneakily leaving…

Uber

Uber connects riders with safe, reliable, convenient transportation providers at a variety of price-points in cities around the world. Uber makes money from charging their drivers 20% of the fare…