"We had a pretty poor advance reading of the first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), but most market participants remained patient to hear the Fed's statement this afternoon," observed Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "Well, the Fed pretty much did what was expected, and the market reacted in turn. Most sectors finished the day slightly higher, though we saw a short-lived pullback following the announcement." The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spent the majority of the day in the green, getting within 40 points of its all-time high at its intraday peak before closing with a modest gain.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,580.84) zigged and zagged throughout the session, ultimately coming to rest on a gain of 45.5 points, or 0.3%. This was enough to secure a new closing high for the blue-chip index. The Dow's 17 advancers were paced by 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), which added 1.1% today. At the back of the pack was Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), which gave back some of its recent gains to close off 1.5%. In April, the Dow gained 0.7%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,883.95) pressed higher as well, closing up 5.6 points, or 0.3%. Despite weakness in some of its larger components, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,114.56) fought to secure a gain of 11 points, or 0.3%. The SPX rose 0.6% in April, while the COMP surrendered 2%.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.41) continued to tumble on the day, settling with a loss of 0.3 point, or 2.2%. On a month-over-month basis, the market's "fear gauge" lost 3.4%.
A Trader's Take:
"One positive sign today was that the Fed stated they are seeing a pickup in economic activity following a very rough winter in the United States," added Bell. "This is definitely something the market will continue to monitor, but I take it as a good sign that they are attributing at least some of the poor performance the past few months to winter, and not a broader slowing of the economy."
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
The Case for Big Moves in IWM and QQQ
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