The stock markets in the United States extended gains today driven by the rally of equities in the energy as crude oil prices increase. The WTI crude oil climbed 2.37% to $37.17 per barrel and the Brent crude oil rose 0.90% to $38.26 per barrel.

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In an interview with Bloomberg, Bob Baur, the chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, commented, “What’s happening today is a realization that we ended up with a sizable rally in oil yesterday. I think maybe the market is looking for some stabilization in oil & materials to put a bottom in some of the anxiety that’s hanging around the market.”

The Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) started its two-day meeting today. A majority of investors expect the Fed to start raising interest rates this month. The Fed will announce its decision on interest rates at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon tomorrow.

The Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5% before seasonal adjustment in November. According to the Bureau, the index for all items excluding food and energy climbed 0.2%. The indexes for food and energy declined 1.3% and 0.1%, respectively.

[drizzle]Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Advantage Funds, said, “I think the Fed will be comfortable with a rate hike tomorrow. They’ll certainly want to convincingly signal that they’re going to follow a very shallow path in future rate hikes.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 525.24 (+0.90%)
  • S&P 500- 2,043.40 (+1.06%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,995.36 (+0.87%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,130.55 (+1.32%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,241.51 (+3.26%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,017.79 (+2.45%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,450.38 (+3.07%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,565.90 (-1.68%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,274.37 (-0.17%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,694.39 (-0.46%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Intercept Pharmaceuticals surged almost 17% to $163.22 per share. The company gained on speculations that Shire PLC is considering an acquisition offer.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals gained more than 16 % to $109.59 per share. The Canadian pharmaceutical company signed new fulfillment agreements with Walgreens and reduced the prices of its branded prescription-based dermatological and ophthalmological products by 10%.

The shares of 3M Co declined 6% to $148.09 each. The company lowered its outlook for fiscal 2015 due to the slowing global economic. 3M expected to report a full-year organic growth of 1%, down from its previous guidance of 1.5% to 2%. The company estimated to deliver earnings of around $7.55 per share, lower than its previous estimate of around $7.60 to $7.65 per share.

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