Markets Go Positive After Merkel Hints That Bailout Fund Could Buy Sovereign Debt

Trader Staring At Screen Wall Street Stress

Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

UPDATE II (1:05 p.m.):

Markets have largely shrugged off earlier declines, with all three indices back in positive territory after the Fed’s announcement that it would extend Operation Twist and remarks from Angela Merkel that Europe’s bailout fund could be used to buy sovereign debt.

The Nasdaq is leading the rally, up 0.4 per cent to 2,941.

The Dow and S&P 500 are following the tech-heavy exchange, advancing 0.2 per cent.

Oil is down more than two per cent at $82 a barrel.

UPDATE I (12:35 p.m.):

Markets have fallen somewhat following the Federal Reserve’s decision to extend Operation Twist, a program where it finances the┬ápurchase of long dated Treasuries with the sale of shorter term notes.

The S&P has declined at the greatest clip, off 0.8 per cent.

The Nasdaq and Dow are down about 0.6 per cent each.

ORIGINAL:

With less than fifteen minutes before the Fed releases its June policy decision, markets have edged lower.

The Dow and Nasdaq are 0.3 per cent lower, while the S&P 500 recedes 0.4 per cent.

Leading the modest decline on the S&P up until this point is Walgreen Co. and Procter and Gamble. The retailer is taking heat over its purchase of the Boots pharmacy chain in Europe, while P&G fell after cutting guidance on weak developed market sales.

The FOMC decision is expected at 12:30 p.m., before the Chairman Bernanke holds a press conference at 2:15 p.m.

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