The stock markets in the United Stated rallied led by equities in the financial and biotechnology sectors today. The market rally was primarily due to the minutes of the meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) indicating that the economy is strong enough to withstand an interest rate hike as soon as next month. The Fed also emphasized that the pace of interest rate increases will be gradual.

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Yesterday, the Fed reported that the manufacturing index increased 0.04% in while the Department of Labor reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 0.02% last month.

Policymakers added a language in the minutes emphasizing that “it may well become appropriate” to raise rates in December. Most of them agreed on a gradual pace of increases.

“Members emphasized that this change was intended to convey the sense that, while no decision had been made, it may well become appropriate to initiate the normalization process at the next meeting,” according the minutes.

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“Now the question is going to be what it should have been along — not when, but how far and how fast. They’ve been trying to communicate not just that the Fed is going to hike in December, but that the plots path will be lowered, and that’s a good outcome for the market,” said John Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Financial, in an interview Bloomberg.

On the other hand, Kevin Mahn, president of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management, commented, “It’s the pace and the duration now that’s the topic of conversation as opposed to when liftoff will take place. The next thing the bull market needs is reassurance from the Fed that the economy is on stable ground, and that will come in the form of a rate hike.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 737.16 (+1.42%)
  • S&P 500- 2,083.58 (+1.62%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,057.20 (+1.79%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,171.38 (+1.58%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,431.92 (-0.58%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,278.97 (+0.16%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,959.96 (-0.10%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,649.18 (+0.09%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,188.26 (-0.34%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,715.58 (1-.14%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Apple climbed more than 3% to $117.29 per share. Goldman Sachs added the stock to its “conviction buy” list and predicted that it would increase 43% over the next 12 months. Goldman Sachs has a price target of $163 on Apple shares.

Fairchild Semiconductor gained more than 8% to $19.40 per share. The company agreed to be acquired by ON Semiconductor for $20 per share or $2.4 billion. The acquisition will allow ON Semiconductor to offer a full spectrum of high, medium, and low-voltage products to customers.

Qualcomm dropped more than 9% to $48 per share. The Fair Trade Commission of South Korea alleged that the company violated its competition law through its device licensing practices. The company denied the allegations and vowed to defend itself vigorously.

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