The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session higher today as investors are optimistic that the Federal Reserve is committed to supporting the strengthening economy.

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The S&P 500 reached a record high of nearly 2000 points. The index closed 1,992 points, up by 0.28% today.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Jeff Kravetz, the regional investment director at US Bank’s Private Client Reserve commented, “The market is really in a sweet spot for U.S. stocks, fundamentals continue to be very good.”

Yesterday, the minutes of the meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) indicated that the central bank will continue to be supportive given the little change in monetary policy.

The members of the FOMC saw progress in the labor market and moved the timing of ending the bond-buying program closer. However, they gave a small sign regarding the schedule of the potential increase of interest rates.

Tomorrow, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen is set to speak at the economic symposium of the Federal Bank of Kansas City in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

According to Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at Oppenheimer Funds opined, “The thesis for the second half is better growth. The expectation for tomorrow is that Yellen is not going to say anything dramatic that’s going to be different from what she’s said before.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,037.68 (+0.34%)
  • S&P 500- 1,992.69 (+0.28%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,530.42 (+0.09%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,160.70 (+0.28%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,124.56 (+1.33%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,777.66 (+0.33%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,401.53 (+0.93%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15,586.20 (+0.85%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24.994.10 (-0.66%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,354.24 (-0.50%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) climbed almost 5% to $55.88 per share driven by the report that the company is considering to spinoff PayPal as soon as next year. In response to the report, eBay said its position discussed during the proxy discussion and in its second-quarter financial report remained—maximizing shareholder value, reviewing all alternatives to create such long-term value and to enhance the growth and competitiveness of eBay and PayPal.

The shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) gained nearly 6% to $37.12 per share after the company reported its first sales growth over the past 12 quarter driven by the improvement of the PC market. Hewlett-Packard posted earnings of $0.86 per share excluding items on $27.6 billion in revenue.

Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) declined more than 7% to $33.24 per share after reporting another disappointing financial results. The company posted $573 million losses for the second-quarter, higher than the $194 million losses recorded in the same period last year. Its revenue declined to $8.01 billion, its 30th consecutive quarter of sales decline.