Markets in the United States rallied as the Federal Reserve reiterated that interest rates would remain low for a “considerable time” and announced that it reduced its monthly bond-buying activity by another $10 billion to $35 billion.

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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) noted that there is a sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support an ongoing improvement in the labor market, which was the driving force behind the further reduction in the pace of asset purchases.

According to the FOMC, it will continue to closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments. The committee reiterated its position that a “highly accommodative stance of monetary policy remains appropriate and will likely reduce the pace of asset purchases in further measured steps.”

The policy makers are in deliberating how long to maintain interest rates near zero as the labor market in the United States is improving and inflation is moving closer to their 2% target.

Federal Reserve officials predicted an interest rate of 1.13% by the end of 2015 and 2.5% the following year, higher than the previous estimates. The Fed reduced their long-term estimated GDP growth rate to reflect a slower growth rate for the U.S. economy.

Policy makers predicted that the long-term U.S. economic growth will be around 2.1% to 2.3% compared with their previous estimate at around 2.2% to 2.3% in March and between 2.5% to 2.8% in January 2010.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,906.62 (+0.58%)
  • S&P 500- 1,956.98 (+0.77 %)
  • NASDAQ- 4,362.84 (+0.59%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,183.13 (+0.55%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,279.20 (+0.12%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,778.56 (+0.18%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,930.33 (+0.10%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,115.80 (+0.93%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,181.72 (-0.09%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,160.24 (-1.43%)

Stocks in Focus

Shares of Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) jumped more than 8% to $73.08 per share after the company reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter. The software maker delivered $0.37 in adjusted earnings per share on $1.07 billion in revenues compared with the $0.34 in adjusted earnings per share on $1.05 billion in revenues anticipated by Wall Street analysts.

Shares of ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) plummeted more than 7% to $30.47 per share after management  warned that its fourth-quarter earnings might be below expectations. The packaged-food company reduced its adjusted earnings forecast from $0.60 per share to $0.55 per share.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) climbed more than 6% to $148.95 per share after the company issued higher earnings guidance that exceeds the expectations of Wall Street analysts. For the current fiscal year ending in May, FedEx estimated that it will be able to deliver earnings in the range of $8.50 to $9 per share compared with the $8.73 in earnings anticipated by analysts.