Stocks closed most higher Wednesday, building on small, mid-day
gains supported by optimism new Federal Reserve
Chairwoman-designate Janet Yellen will continue the central bank's
monetary stimulus for the U.S. economy. Markets also responded
positively to this afternoon's release of minutes from the Fed's
Sept. 18-19 policy-setting meeting, indicating voting members on
Federal Open Markets Committee chose to keep their massive
bond-buying program in place largely because of the uncertainty
resulting from a Congressional standoff over the federal budget and
According to those minutes, "most participants" on FOMC believe
the Fed should start tapering its bond purchases before the end of
the year, with the panel concluding economic growth and the labor
market have improved significantly since it began the
$85-billion-per-month program in September 2012. Still, many FOMC
members were worried whether those gains would be sustainable,
especially if Congress - as ultimately happened - was not able to
agree on legislation authorizing new government spending past Oct.
1 or again fought over raising the nation's debt limit.
As expected, President Obama today formally nominated Yellen to
take over as the Fed chair when the incumbent Ben Bernanke retires
at the end of January. In brief remarks this afternoon, Yellen said
the central bank still has more work strengthening the
recovery,"particularly for those hardest hit by the Great
Most industry sectors in the S&P 500 ended with small gains,
led by technology and utility stocks. Financial shares also
advanced, helping keep the broader market gauges in the black
throughout most of the afternoon. Shares of energy companies ended
slightly lower, unable to break into positive ground following
steep declines for the price of crude oil in commodities trading
after the government's weekly inventory report found an
unexpectedly large build in supplies. Gold and silver also ended
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 26.45 (+0.18%) to 14,802.98
S&P 500 up 0.95 (+0.06%) to 1,656.40
Nasdaq Composite Index down 17.06 (-0.46%) to 3,677.78
Hang Seng Index down 0.63%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.62%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.44%
(+) MW, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (
) makes a $48 per share cash offer for the rival men's apparel
retailer - with MW later rejecting the $2.3-billion offer.
(+) MG, Reports Q1 results that beat expectations and affirms
prior forecast for FY14 revenue.
(+) AA, Reports Q3 EPS of $0.11, ex-items, beating the analyst
consensus by $0.06 per share. Revenue was largely in-line at $5.8
(-) ARIA, FDA puts a partial hold on new patient enrollments in
clinical trials of its Iclusig drug candidate after some patients
suffered from serious side effects including blood clots and other
(-) CYTR, Prices public offering of 10 million shares of common
stock at $2.25 apiece.
(-) LRN, Announces lower-than-expected 2014 revenue guidance,
triggering a downgrade to Neutral from Robert Baird.
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