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Overnight Markets: US stocks rise as Fed keeps up bond-buying
by Himanshu Singh on Mar 21, 2013 at 03:24
US stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index snapping a three-day losing streak, after the Federal Reserve said it will keep up its bond buying to support the economy and euro-area policymakers weighed options for Cyprus.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 56 points, or 0.39%, to end at 14,512, after rising as high as 14,547, an intraday record. The S&P 500 rose 10 points, or 0.67%, to finish at 1,559. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 25 points, or 0.78%, to close at 3,254.
At the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Washington, the Federal Open Market Committee left unchanged its statement that it plans to hold its target interest rate near zero as long as unemployment remains above 6.5% and inflation is projected to be no more than 2.5%.
The central bank said it would stick to its $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus as the policymakers estimated that the economy will expand 2.3% to 2.8% this year, compared with their earlier forecast of 2.3% to 3%.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Cypriot leaders held crisis talks on Wednesday to avoid a financial meltdown a day after the country's parliament rejected a tax on bank deposits.
The housing sector's stocks gained the most after Lennar Corp. (LEN) reported a first-quarter profit well above analysts' expectations as lower interest rates and rising rents increased home sales. The stock of Lennar jumped 4.8%. Toll Brothers Inc. added 5.9%.
BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion Ltd., increased 6.5% after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the Canadian-based phone company to overweight from underweight.
Family Dollar Stores Inc. rallied 3.8 percent to $60.36, pacing gains among discount retailers. Dollar Tree Inc. advanced 4%, while Dollar General Corp. rose 4.2%.
Shares of Oracle (ORCL.O) fell 8.2% after the bell after the world's No. 3 software maker reported revenue that missed expectations. Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O) jumped 4.2% a day after the company raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.
FedEx Corp (FDX.N) lost 6.9% after the package-delivery company cut its full-year forecast.
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