After Market: Fed's Low Interest Plans Boost Investors' Moods

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Back-to-back rising days on Wall Street eased worries after the big sell-off that began last week. Buyers Wednesday hit the accelerator after the release of minutes from the last Fed policy meeting reassured investors that interest rates will stay low for some time to come.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rallied 181 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) jumped 71 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 20 points.

Facebook (FB) led the rally, jumping 7 percent on positive comments from several brokerage firms. However, Facebook shares are still down 14 percent over the past month. LinkedIn (LNKD) gained 4 percent. It also received a brokerage upgrade. Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and other Internet stocks also posted gains.

Biotechs also had a good day. Celgene rose 6½ percent. Biogen (BIIB), Regeneron (REGN), Isis (ISIS) and Alnylam (ALNY) all gained at least 5 percent. And Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals (RARE) jumped 12 percent as Morgan Stanley gave the stock an "overweight" rating.

And the gun has sounded on the first-quarter earnings season. Alcoa (AA) rose nearly 4 percent as it beat expectations. That helped some other old-line industrials: US Steel (X) rose 2½ percent and Allegheny Technologies (ATI) gained 3½ percent. But WD-40 (WDFC) slid 6 percent as net fell from a year ago.

And automakers hit some potholes. Toyota (TM) fell more than 1 percent after recalling 6.4 million cars worldwide for airbag and seat rail problems. GM (GM) fell 2½ percent as Morgan Stanley lowered its rating on the stock to "underweight." Ford (F) went along for the downhill ride, losing 1½ percent.

Elsewhere, Intuitive Surgical (INTU) dropped 7 percent after warning that revenue will be weaker than expected. It's also taking a charge to settle legal claims.

But Comcast (CMCSA) rose 2 percent and Time Warner Cable (TWC) gained 1½ percent as executives from the two companies testified before a Senate committee about the consumer benefits of their planned merger.

Constant Contact (CTCT) jumped 29 percent. The online marketing firm raised its earnings outlook.

And La Quinta (LQ), the hotel chain, edged 3 percent above its IPO price of $17 a share. However, the stock was priced below Street expectations.

What to Watch Thursday:
  • Selected chain retailers release March sales comparisons.
  • The Labor Department issues two reports at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time: import and export prices for March, and weekly jobless claims.
  • Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates at 10 a.m.
  • The Treasury Department releases its federal budget for March at 2 p.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO)
  • Pier 1 Imports (PIR)
  • Rite Aid (RAD)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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21 Comments

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worried man

Old story ..investors slammed on the brakes no thanks to the FED

April 10 2014 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davidcpasq

looks like the market didn't like Obama's pitch for "bigger government can cure all of our ills" today

April 10 2014 at 4:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
moretrorun

Haven't these investors saved any money? Do they reminisce about their making 18% on Delaware Cash Reserve and other such money market funds?
If they wonder why insurance rates go up, seniors liquidate their savings, and companies are sitting on cash but still don't hire, they should remember those higher interest rates and their questions will be answered.

April 10 2014 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fulredy

The Fed is selling us (America) down the road. We should be in a deep depression, but the Fed is delaying that by printing trillions of dollars. Guess what happens when this idiocy fails and the economy collapses?

April 10 2014 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fulredy's comment
clark8642

So the Fed should just give up instead of buying time for the Congress to get its act together on the fiscal policy side? And printing trillions of dollars is causing massive inflation? And those trillions can never be removed from the economy by the Fed by selling the securities it has purchased, a likely event when the economy improves?

April 10 2014 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jwmgrand

What a day , What a day , you know many were throwing the towel in , getting ready to sell, saying we have nothing but old hat , call the broker were done and are out of string ....... So what did the $$$$ people do ..... run a play that has worked many times to get a first down its called the FED Screen pass
and it was good not only for a first down but a touchdown ...... many of the ( smart ) people knew that his play would throw off the shorts and make them cover ...... and it did ... but the real truth is it is only .......(1 play of the GAME ). sure they scored ... but we still have the the whole 2nd Half to play ..... today was nothing more then a end zone celebration in the first half ... getting the crowd fired up ...saying look how great our team is or our ( Strong Securities ) they will not let us down ...... but the people who work the puppets ......know quite different !

April 09 2014 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emmett

Not one constructive comment from these morons who are condemning the very people they put in office. Get a life losers and come back if you can muster some coherent thoughts, if not just keep quiet .

April 09 2014 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

we are more worried if the queers can get a sex change than about the survival of this country.

April 09 2014 at 10:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

Wall street made some quick money so they will try it again...time to get out of the market. Let them steal someone elses money now.

April 09 2014 at 10:44 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
militiaman2013

How nice! The Wall Street goons get to bet down their stocks while profiting form shorting then get to reload and upgrade the same stocks.

While the old Fed Hag cowers and gives the Wall Street clowns more free money to gamble with.

This Country needs a Civil War and Treason Board but the sheep are too busy with Shitbook, Crapxbox and Junk Food.

April 09 2014 at 7:25 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to militiaman2013's comment
clark8642

Treason Board? To look at the Iraq fiasco? A little late. But I would support it if handled by the Senate rather than Congressman Issa who has shown he has no idea how to conduct a thorough investigation.

April 09 2014 at 8:42 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clark8642's comment
dopey.obamite

He's been very good at facing stonewalling from the administration and the IRS.

April 10 2014 at 12:40 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down
scottee

what about the SAVERS' mood?
who will improve the savers' mood?
who will audit and end The Fed?

April 09 2014 at 6:24 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scottee's comment
clark8642

So Congress, responsible for fiscal policy, gets a pass? If the economy picks up, interest rates will rise. If Congress gets its act together the economy will improve. And the Fed is frequently audited by the GAO. And Congress which delegated the monetary policy function to the Fed can end that delegation anytime it chooses. So it all comes back to Congress.

April 09 2014 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to clark8642's comment
dopey.obamite

Anytime it chooses? It would have to be allowed a vote by do nothing reid and signed by POTUS obama. Riiiiight..how many house bills has harry had the courage to vote on?

The federal reserve act was advocated by woodrow wilson and sponspred by dems...yeah, good luck.

April 10 2014 at 12:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
clark8642

Do nothing Reid? The House is not interested in eliminating the Fed and turning us overnight into a third rate economic basket case. There are some in the House who would like to see Congress take back the monetary policy responsibilities it has delegated to the Fed but not hardly enough to pass a law to that affect.

April 10 2014 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down