Thursday, June 20, 2019

Equities, Well That Was Interesting: S&P 500 Closes in Record Territory, DJIA, Nasdaq Nearby

From MarketWatch (also on blogroll at right):

June 20, 2019 4:24 p.m. ET
S&P 500 closes at historic peak after Fed adopts easy-money posture 
The S&P 500 closed at a record Thursday — its first all-time high in seven weeks — in a broad market rally, after the Federal Reserve signaled that an interest-rate cut may be forthcoming.

How did benchmarks fare?
The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.95% added 27.72 points, or 1%, to 2,954.18, after earlier touching a new intraday peak of 2,958.06.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.94% rose 249.17 points, or 0.9%, to 26,753.17, coming about 75 points short of its record set on Oct. 3. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.80% climbed 64.02 points, or 0.8%, to 8,051.34, the first time it finished above 8,000 since May 6.

What drove the market?
Markets rallied after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday signaled that the central bank may cut benchmark interest rates, currently at a range of 2.25%-2.50%, in the coming weeks if the economic outlook buffeted by U.S.-China trade tensions doesn’t show signs of improvement.

“The case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened,” Powell said at a news conference to discuss the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee’s highly anticipated decision. Policy makers kept rates unchanged as expected but removed the word “patient” from its updated policy statement, suggesting that it is ready to act soon.

Although markets have been widely anticipating that the Fed would respond to growing signs of stress in the economy, the central bank’s posture on looser monetary policy was seen as providing a strong case for the continued rise in stocks despite concerns....