As more major financial and economic news is rolled out this week, the markets seem to be responding positively.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Investors are still waiting for news from the Federal Open Market Committee regarding the future of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, but in the meantime, the news regarding private payrolls and gross domestic product has kept them busy. As of 11:45 a.m. Eastern, all three major indices were up. Though the S&P 500 had the weakest gains of the three, its 0.52 percent boost is nothing to sneeze at. With a 9.63-point gain, the index sits at 1,879.06, ticking closer to its April 4 high of 1,894.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a slightly higher boost of 0.57 percent, or 93.66 points, putting it at 16,542.40, gaining on its one-month high of 16,609.85 from April 4. The Nasdaq had the strongest showing of the three major indices. Its 32.8490-point gain put it up 0.81 percent to 4,107.25 points, though it still has some ground to make up to reach its one-month high of 4,283.20, which was reached on April 3.
Economy sends mixed messages - GDP grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate, far lower than expected and marking the slowest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2012, Reuters reported. On the other hand, 220,000 jobs were added to the private workforce in April, marking the highest number since November. "There's no hiding the fact the GDP number is a disappointment, but even though it came much lower than expectations it's getting a hall pass because we are expecting to have a better second quarter," said market strategist Art Hogan. Many eyes remain fixed on the FOMC, as its policy statement is scheduled to be released this afternoon, even though Chair Janet Yellen is not scheduled to give a conference.
There are plenty of factors that will weigh into the Fed's choice regarding tapering its bond-buying program, though they seem to be sending mixed messages lately. For example, the housing market came out of this past winter's unusually severe weather a bit shaky, and sales of new homes dropped nearly 15 percent in March, according to the Commerce Department. However, consumer spending rose more than forecast, according to Bloomberg, to reach the largest gain in 14 years.
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