Stocks rallied today after the Federal Reserve decided to cut
back on its $85-billion monthly bond buying program by $10 billion
starting in January but said it will keep interest rates at
historic lows until the labor market significantly improves.
Traders initially pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average and
the S&P 500 lower in the first moments after the 2 p.m. ET
announcement, only to quickly reverse course to lift the market
gauges to large gains as the central bank said it likely will
maintain its low interest rate policies in place for several more
In its statement following the conclusion of the Federal Open
Markets Committee meeting, the central bank acknowledged economic
condition continue to improve at a moderate pace and would reduce
its asset-buying program by $10 billion a month to $75 billion per
month - cutting $5 billion from its $45 million in Treasury
securities purchases and $5 billion from its $40 billion per month
for agency mortgage-backed securities.
But the Fed also said it would keep interest rates near zero
"until the outlook for the labor market has improved substantially
in a context of price stability."
Early gains for stocks today also were supported by homebuilders
reporting another banner month, with housing starts climbing to a
1.091 million annualized pace during November, reaching a five-year
high. Building permits activity was equally robust, increasing to
an annualized 1.007 million.
Commodities were mostly higher today, with crude oil for
February delivery setting 61 cents higher at $98.08 per barrel.
January natural gas fell 2 cents to $4.26 per 1 million BTU.
February good rose $4.60 to $1,234.60 per ounce while March silver
added 22 cents to finish at $20.06 per ounce. March was unchanged
at at $3.32 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 292 (+1.8%) at 16,167
S&P 500 up 29 (+1.7%) at 1,810
Nasdaq Composite Index up 46 (+1.2%) at 4,070
Hang Seng Index up 0.32%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.13%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.09%
(+) SYNM, Accepts a stock swap worth up to $49 million from
Renewable Energy Group Inc. (
) for substantially all of its assets, including a 75-million
gallon bio-diesel facility in Geismar, La., in exchange for 3.796
mln REGI shares.
(+) VCI, Agrees to be acquired and taken private by Harland
Clarke Holdings for $1.84 billion.
(+) DEPO, Acquires U.S. rights to Nautilus Neurosciences' (
) Cambia non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for $48.7
(-) WPCS, Steadily lost ground today after announcing a deal to
acquire BTX Trader, which is developing a proprietary trading
platform for the bitcoin industry. To fund the deal, WPCS will
issued preferred stock and warrants, generating 2.35 mln.
(-) JBL, Issues guidance for its quarter ending in February
trailing analyst expectations by a wide margin due to lackluster
demand for Apple's (
) iPhone 5c, for which the company makes casings.
(-) OPXA, Prices offering of 4.12 mln shares at $1.70 apiece,
generating about $7 mln in gross proceeds to support continued
clinical studies of the company's Tcelna drug candidate in patients
with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.