Stocks extended gains, closing higher for a second straight day after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged as expected. Stocks rallied to session highs after the statement as treasuries declined.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,753.43, +123.16, (0.70%)
- S&P 500: 2,108.40, +15.15, (0.72%)
- Nasdaq: 5,111.26, +22.06, (0.43%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
- The Fed is still waiting for the data to be good enough to warrant a rate hike. “The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labour market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 per cent objective over the medium term,” it said in its policy statement. And so, just as expected, there were no big changes.
- Yelp shares plunged 28%. On Tuesday evening, the company reported second-quarter results and slashed its outlook for full-year earnings. It now expects net revenues of between $US544 million and $US550 million. The company is struggling to scale its sales force and has reduced hiring.
- Twitter had a rough day, with shares falling as much as 12%. The company reported earnings after the bell yesterday. It was a beat on revenues and profits, and the stock initially jumped 6% after-hours. But on the earnings call, interim CEO Jack Dorsey said “we do not expect to see sustained meaningful growth in [monthly active users] until we start to reach the mass market.” And this morning, many sell-side analysts downgraded the stock.
- Shake Shack had its best day since it went public in January. Shares soared 20%. It’s 180 days since the IPO, and so the lockup period, during which insiders could not sell shares, expires today.
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rallied towards $US50 per barrel after data showed an unexpected drop in inventories. The Energy Information Administration said stockpiles fell by 4.2 million barrels last week. Also, Dow Jones reported that Saudi Arabia would scale back oil production after the summer. WTI climbed to as high as $US49.50.
- Pending home sales fell for the first time this year in May. Sales dropped 1.8% month-over-month (0.9% expected, 0.9% prior) and rose 11.1% year-over-year (11.3% expected, 8.3% prior). “We would still interpret the ‘June weakness’ as payback after housing activity made a strong start to 2015 and expect the housing market to remain in recovery mode,” wrote Barclays economists in a note to clients.
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