00:46 Stocks jumped Thursday as investors weighed the offsetting impact of less stimulus from the Federal Reserve with fresh signs the economy is growing stronger. The Dow Jones industrial average added 221.11 points, 1.3%, to 17,195.42. The Standard & Poors 500 index rose 12.35 points, 0.6%, to end at 1994.65, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite finished up 16.91 points, 0.4%, to close at 4566.14. Specialist Michael OMara works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as a television more The Dows upward momentum was thanks largely to component stock Visa. Shares of (V) surged 10.2% to close at $236.65, following its better-than-expected quarterly earnings report. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.31% and the price of crude oil fell $1.15, 1.4%, to finish at $81.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Wall Street is still trying to gauge how the economy will fare going forward after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday officially ended its market-friendly bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing. So-called QE, which was designed to boost growth by making borrowing costs cheaper for consumers, home buyers and businesses, has been cited as a major driver of the bull market in stocks the past five years. Investors got good news on the economic front early Thursday, when the government reported that the economy grew at a 3.5% clip in the third quarter, after a 4.6% jump in the second quarter. Wall Street is now focusing on when the Federal Reserve will start raising short-term interest rates next year. Most commentators still expect the first rate hike to come in mid-2015, while others think the Fed will have to move earlier, perhaps in the first quarter of next year, in response to an improving economy and job market. The timing of the Feds first rate increase still has investors on edge, says Andrea Kramer, analyst at Schaeffers Investment Research. Many view the threat of higher rates as a new risk to the market and the economy, as a less-friendly Fed and higher borrowing costs make it more difficult for the economy to outperform. Traders continue to digest the end of quantitative easing, Kramer told clients in a note before the opening bell. Although the central bank vowed to keep interest rates near record lows for a time, it bolstered its view of the U.S. labor market, triggering speculation that a rate hike could come sooner rather than later. In overseas trading Thursday, benchmark indexes mostly closed higher. In Europe, Londons FTSE 100 closed up 10 points, 0.2%, to 6463.55, while Frances CAC 40 index ended up 31 points, 0.7%, to 4141.24. Germanys DAX 30 added 32 points, 0.4%, to close at 9111.84. In Asia, Japans Nikkei 225 index rose 104 points, 0.7%, to 15,658.20, while Hong Kongs Hang Seng index fell 118 points, 0.5%, to end at 23,702.04.
Posted on: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:52:43 +0000
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