REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachManchester United’s Wayne Rooney fights for the ball with Bayern Munich’s Dante (R) during their Champions League quarter-final, second-leg soccer match in Munich, April 9, 2014.
The stock markets were happy with whatever came through in the Federal Reserve’s FOMC minutes, which were published this afternoon.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,437.2 (+181.1, +1.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,872.1 (+20.2, +1.0%)
- Nasdaq: 4,183.9, (+70.9, +1.7%)
And now the top stories:
- The markets were touched by volatility on March 19 when the Fed tweaked its economic forecasts to indicate that higher interest rates were more likely to come sooner than later. But the minutes from that March meeting, which were published at 2:00 p.m ET today, suggested that that wasn’t the signal that the Fed was trying to give.
- From the minutes: “A number of participants noted the overall upward shift since December in participants’ projections of the federal funds rate included in the March SEP, with some expressing concern that this component of the [Summary of Economic Projections] could be misconstrued as indicating a move by the Committee to a less accommodative reaction function. However, several participants noted that the increase in the median projection overstated the shift in the projections. In addition, a number of participants observed that an upward shift was arguably warranted by the improvement in participants’ outlooks for the labor market since December and therefore need not be viewed as signifying a less accommodative reaction function. Most participants favored providing an explicit indication in the statement that the new forward guidance, taken as a whole, did not imply a change in the Committee’s policy intentions, on the grounds that such an indication could help forestall misinterpretation of the new forward guidance.”
- Aluminum giant Alcoa jumped by more than 3% today after the company announced Q1 earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. Management also reiterated its guidance that global demand would grow by 7% in 2014. While it is no longer a component of the Dow, Alcoa continues to be one of the more important bellwethers of global economic activity.