Equity Markets Update: Stocks Bounce After Fed Reserve Reveals Stimulus Plan; Dow, S&P, NASDAQ All Up More Than 1%

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U.S. stocks are seeing solid gains across the board after the Federal Reserve announced a new stimulus plan aimed at helping lower the unemployment rate.

The plan to revive the economy includes the government's purchase of $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Sept. 14. The announcement spurred the S&P 500, the Dow and NASDAQ up approximately 1% each.

The Fed also said it is keeping in place the "Operation Twist," which consists of swapping short-dated securities for longer-term securities, as well as reinvesting the proceeds of maturing securities. This will result in the central bank adding $85 billion of long-term securities each month through the end of the year.

Interest rates will hold at a rate between 0% and 0.25% -- from late 2014 to "at least through mid-2015." Previously, the Fed had forecast rates would remain low until late 2014.

U.S. sectors are mixed, with utilities, non-cyclical consumer and services leading gains while transportation, capital goods and financial sectors lag.

Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for October delivery was up $1.34 at $98.35 a barrel. October natural gas was down $0.073 at $2.99 per 1 million BTU.

December gold futures rose $14.10, or 0.8%, to $1,747.60 an ounce. December silver was flat at $33.29. December copper unmoved at $3.69.

Here's where the markets stand:

NYSE Composite (^NYA) up 108 Pts (1.3%) to 8,375.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) up 106.32 (0.80%) to 13,439.67

S&P 500 (^INX) up 18.34 (1.28%) to 1,455.

Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC) up 43.33 (1.4%) to 3,157.5.


Nikkei 225 Index up 0.39%

Hang Seng Index down 0.14%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.48%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.76%


NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) up 39.01 (+0.29) at 13,623.20

NYSE Financial Sector Index (^NYK) up 4.25 (0.09%) at 4,619.85

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index (^NYP) up 25.09 (0.35%) to 7,256.75


(+) DARA, (+10%, but off day highs) Announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with The Helsinn Group of Switzerland for the U.S. commercial rights to Gelclair. Gelclair is an FDA-cleared topical gel topical gel used to coat and protect the oral cavity to reduce pain from oral mucositis. DARA plans to launch Gelclair in the first quarter of 2013.

(+) HEK, (+8.7%) The water solutions company is up after announcing that it has completed the acquisition of a majority interest in Appalachian Water Services, LLC (AWS). AWS will operate as an integral part of Heckmann's fluid management solutions strategy. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

(+) PLL, (+8%) The filtration, separation and purification technologies company, is up 8% after it posted FQ4 diluted earnings per share of $0.99, topping the $0.77 per share estimate on Yahoo Finance. Revenue for the quarter came in at $783.7 million, beating the $718.79 million consensus. For the full year, PLL's sales increased 5.9% on the previous year. Diluted EPS were $2.71 compared to $2.67 in the previous year.

(+) LRN, (+7.3%) In the after hours session, reported that it pulled in Q4 revenue of $170.4 mln, up nearly 33% year-over-year and ahead of the analyst consensus of $165.4 mln on Capital IQ. Earnings increased to $0.05 per share vs. a year ago loss of $0.08 per share. The Street view was a loss of $0.04 per share.


(-) FMER, (-10.2%) Today agreed to acquire Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. ( CRBC ) in a stock deal valued at roughly $952 million.

(-) NOC, (-2.3%) Was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS. The firm established a $64 price target.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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