Stocks Tumble After FOMC
The major U.S. equity averages spent most of Tuesday's trading session in positive territory with the Dow trading up more than 100 points at its best levels, but an afternoon sell-off in the wake of the last FOMC statement of the year sent stocks out near their lows.
Disappointed traders who had hoped for more accommodation from the Federal Reserve sent the Dow down 66 points to 11,954 at the close of trading in New York. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 11,904 and 12,147.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) lost 0.93% to $123.05. Volume was a little bit lighter than normal with around 236 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 260.7 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, shed 1.10% to $55.76. The QQQ is up 2.39% in 2011.
Crude oil rallied sharply on reports that Iran is preparing military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz. NYMEX crude futures surged 2.23% to $99.95. ICE Brent contracts added 1.99% to $109.39 while the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) gained 1.93% to $38.61.
Gold futures plunged 1.96% to $1,635.50 in the wake of the FOMC statement which indicated that inflation is moderating. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) fell 2.17% to $158.45. COMEX silver futures lost 0.62% to $30.81 at last check.
Demand was brisk for Treasuries as stocks sold off in the afternoon. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) climbed 0.96% to $119.14. The yield on the 10-Year not fell 5.2 basis points to 1.96%.
The U.S. Dollar also rallied sharply in the wake of the Fed statement. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, added 0.98% to $22.57. The closely watched EUR/USD pair is currently trading at $1.3038.
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