The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session higher again today. The S&P 500 wiped out all of its losses for December. The markets primarily benefited from the recent decision of the Federal Reserve that it would be patient when it comes to increasing the interest rates.

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In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Stephen Carl, principal andhead equity trader at Williams Capital Group commented, “The Fed set the tone and that what’s fueling the market right now. There’s a lack of economic numbers this morning, and we’ll probably finish up the week with a little profit-taking. With people taking off for the holidays you may see some price movements with lesser volume.”

The Bank of Japan maintained its stimulus program by purchasing government bonds (JGBs) at annual pace of around 80 trillion yen. It will also buy exchange-traded funds (ETFs) Japan real-estate investment trusts (J-REITs) at annual pace of 3 trillion yen and 90 billion yen, respectively.

The Japanese central bank also indicated the country’s economy is recovering moderately. Japan’s exports are picking-up and business-fixed investment is climbing on a moderate trend. Corporate profits also improve.  The stock markets in Asia-Pacific region climbed.

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A majority of economists are speculating that the European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its decision to purchase large-scale government bonds in 2015.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,807.49 (+0.17%)
  • S&P 500- 2,070.72 (+0.46%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,765.38 (+0.36%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,197.46 (+0.44%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,141.28 (-0.40%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,545.27 (+1.23%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,786.96 (+-0.25%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,621.40 (+2.39%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,116.63 (+1.25%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,383.17 (+1.11%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of American Apparel Inc (APP) increased 7% to $1.07 per share due to a report that it is seriously considering a takeover proposal from Irving Place Capital. The private equity firm offered to acquire the company for a price of around $1.30 to $1.40 per share.

CarMax, Inc (KMX) rallied more than 11% to $67.42 per share after the company posted financial results that beat the consensus of Wall Street analysts. The company said it earnings were $0.60 per share on $3.41 billion in revenue for the third quarter.

The shares of Red Hat Inc (RHT) jumped more than 10% to $68.04 per share after reporting better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter. The company posted $0.42 in earnings per diluted share on $456 million in revenue compared with the $0.40 in earnings per share on $451 million in revenue expected by Wall Street analysts.

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