Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges Over 100 Points After Federal Reserve's Policy Update

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.35% to 35,669.27 while the NASDAQ rose 0.44% to 15,304.76. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.51% to 4,657.83.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 51,136,440 cases with around 821,330 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 34,710,630 cases and 476,130 deaths, while Brazil reported over 22,195,770 COVID-19 cases with 617,120 deaths. In total, there were at least 271,874,930 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,340,460 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares climbed 1.1% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Huaneng Power International, Inc. HNP, up 4% and Pampa Energía S.A. PAM up 3%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell 1.5%.

Top Headline

The Federal Reserve announced plans to accelerate its monthly asset purchase tapering, also expecting three interest-rate hikes by the end of next year. The central bank, meanwhile, maintained its target fed funds rate range between zero and 0.25% at its recent meeting.


Equities Trading UP

Biofrontera Inc. BFRI shares shot up 28% to $7.05 after Benchmark initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and announced a $11 price target.

Shares of CMC Materials, Inc. CCMP got a boost, shooting 30% to $189.64 after the company announced it will be acquired by Entegris for $6.5 billion in cash and stock.

Gemini Therapeutics, Inc. GMTX shares were also up, gaining 26% to $3.07 after HC Wainwright & Co initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $20 price target.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Aspen Group, Inc. ASPU shares tumbled 28% to $1.89 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q2 results and cut FY22 guidance.

Shares of REV Group, Inc. REVG were down 24% to $12.16 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 results and issued FY22 sales guidance below estimates.

Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. IDRA was down, falling 30% to $0.6069 after the company’s CEO said that clinical trials with tilsotolimod, its synthetic Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist, have not yet translated into a new treatment alternative for patients.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.4% to $70.48, while gold traded down 0.3% to $1,767.10.

Silver traded down 1.7% Wednesday to $21.555 while copper fell 1.7% to $4.1855.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.26%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.24% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.15%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.66%, French CAC 40 climbed 0.47% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.41%.

Industrial production in the Eurozone increased 1.1% from a month ago in October. The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.2% during the three months to October, while the number of employed people rose by 149,000 on quarter to 32.506 million in the same period.


US retail trade increased 0.3% from a month ago in November after rising 1.8% in October. However, analysts were expecting a 0.8% growth.

The New York Empire State Manufacturing Index climbed to 31.9 in December from 30.9 in November.

Prices for US exports rose 1.0% month-over-month in November, while price index for US imports rose 0.7%.

US business inventories increased 1.2% from a month ago in October.

The housing market index rose to 84.00 in December from prior reading of 83.00.

US crude oil inventories dropped by 4.584 million barrels in the week ending December 10, the Energy Information Administration said.


The Federal Reserve announced plans to end its bond buying by March, also expecting three interest-rate hikes by the end of next year. The central bank, meanwhile, left interest rates unchanged at its recent meeting.


The Treasury International Capital report for October will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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