The stock markets in the United States climbed after the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) reduced its monthly bond buying program to $45 billion citing that “economic growth picked up recently” and “household spending appears to be rising more quickly.”

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Policy makers pointed out that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy is still appropriate to support the continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability.

The FOMC also noted that the unemployment rate is remained elevated, but on balance the labor market showed improvement.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates LLC said, “The Fed seems to be putting aside the weakness in the first quarter that the market reacted to this morning. The statement seems business as usual and perhaps if you’d seen the Fed react more dovish to a weaker first quarter that would’ve been more negative.”

Today, the ADP Research Institute reported that the private sector added 220,000 jobs including the 82,000 jobs created by small businesses, 81,000 jobs by medium and 57,000 jobs by large businesses in April.  The Department of Labor is schedule to release its official employment data on May 2. Economists forecasted that the economy added 215,000 jobs in April.

The Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.1% on an annualized rate during the first quarter. The GDP growth rate was slower compared with the 1.2% expected by economists polled by Bloomberg and the 2.6% Increase recorded in the previous quarter.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,580.84 (+0.27%)
  • S&P 500- 1,883.95 (+0.20 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,114.56 (+0.30%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,126.18 (+0.48%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,198.39 (-0.32%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,780.03 (+0.15%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,603.23 (+0.20%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,304.11 (+0.11%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,133.97 (-1.42%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,158.66 (+0.01%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) declined more than 5% to $51.68p per share despite reporting strong earnings for the first quarter. The decline was primarily driven by its decision to repatriate $6 billion in offshore cash and took a $3 billion tax charge.

The shares of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) dropped 9% to $38.70 per share after the popular microblogging company reported that the number of its users increased 25% to 255 million, lower than the $257 million users expected by Wall Street analysts. “The user growth showed some continued deceleration. It just happens to be the one thing that investors are looking at,” said Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore.

The stock price of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM) increased more than 17% to $16.75 per share after Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) agreed to acquire it for $27.25 per share in cash to create a large Mid-Atlantic electric and gas utility with around 10 million customers. The shares of Exelon dropped more than 3% to $35.03 per share today.