All eyes were on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) today, but central bank leaders had limited surprises for market participants. Tapering is set to continue at a steady pace, and interest rates remain parked at historical lows ... though not forever. After hovering close to the breakeven mark for most of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) popped higher following the FOMC announcement, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) notched a record closing high.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,906.62) zoomed sharply higher into the close, adding 98.1 points, or 0.6%. With this jump, the blue-chip index retook control of its 10-day moving average and came within 65 points of its all-time high. All but two of the Dow's 30 components moved higher today, paced by The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), which gained 1.6%. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) brought up the rear with losses of 0.1%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,956.98) exhibited a similar show of late-day strength, gaining 15 points, or 0.8%. The index also closed at a new high and tagged a fresh intraday peak of 1,957.74. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,362.84) wasn't left out of the fun, rallying 25.6 points, or 0.6%, by the close, putting in its highest closing level since April 2000.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 10.61) tagged a new intraday low of 10.57 -- its lowest reading since February 2007 -- before closing off 1.5 points, or 12%, on the day.
A Trader's Take:
"The FOMC had no major changes to its open market policy and remains transparent with its plans to reduce the bond buying each month," noted Schaeffer's Trading Analyst Peter Bryans. "Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated there continues to be underlying economic improvement, and that the committee will adjust policy as necessary. The market rallied on this news, heading higher into the closing bell. Tomorrow, the only major data point on the economic calendar is weekly jobless claims, considered another 'leading indicator' of unemployment."
5 Items on Our Radar Today:
For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.
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