U.S. Stocks Gain After Fed Statement; General Mills Shares Fall On Downbeat Results
Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.29 percent to 17,181.56 while the NASDAQ surged 0.42 percent to 4,571.63. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.32 percent to 2,005.39.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
In trading on Wednesday, financial shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.51 percent. Top gainers in the sector included Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV), up 4.3 percent, and EZCORP (NASDAQ: EZPW), up 3.9 percent.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based company posted quarterly earnings of $606 million, or $2.10 per share, compared to $489 million, or $1.53 per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Its revenue gained 6% to $11.7 billion from $11.0 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.94 per share on revenue of $11.47 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AUXL) shares shot up 43.36 percent to $30.85 after the company received an unsolicited bid to be acquired for $28.10 per share from Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP).
Shares of United States Steel (NYSE: X) got a boost, shooting up 9.54 percent to $45.36 after the company reported strategic actions and issued a strong Q3 outlook.
Lennar (NYSE: LEN) shares were also up, gaining 5.52 percent to $41.29 after the company reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) were down 15.96 percent to $33.06 after the company said it will remain independent despite "entertaining various proposals" from suitors.
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) shares tumbled 3.82 percent to $51.15 after the company reported weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results.
Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) was down, falling 4.35 percent to $67.65 after the company issued a weak fiscal fourth-quarter forecast. Adobe reported its Q3 earnings of $0.28 per share on revenue of $1.01 billion.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.73 percent to $94.19, while gold traded down 0.36 percent to $1,232.20.
Silver traded down 0.35 percent Wednesday to $18.66, while copper fell 0.65 percent to $3.15.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.45 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index surged 1.01 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index jumped 1.55 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.30 percent and the French CAC 40 gained 0.50 percent while UK shares dropped 0.17 percent.
The MBA reported that its index of mortgage application activity rose 7.90% in the week ended September 12.
The consumer price index fell 0.2% in August, while the core CPI was unchanged in the month. However, economists were expecting consumer prices to remain unchanged in the month.
The US current account deficit shrank 3.8% to $98.50 billion in the second quarter, versus a revised $102.2 billion in the first quarter. However, economists were expecting current account deficit to reach $113.40 billion in the quarter.
The NAHB housing market index rose to 59.00 in September, versus a prior reading of 55.00. However, economists were expecting a reading of 56.00.
US oil inventories increased 3.7 million barrels in the week ended September 12, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 400,000 barrels. Gasoline supplies fell 1.6 million barrels, while distillates supplies climbed 300,000 barrels.
The Federal Open Market Committee issued policy statement. The Fed said that rates are likely to remain low for a “considerable time.” The Fed cut its monthly Treasury bond buying by $5 billion and reduced its 2015 GDP growth forecast to 2.6%-3%. It also cut its monthly MBS buying by $5 billion.
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