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The Markets Now: Stocks Remain Higher After the FOMC Releases Minutes Early


Plus, large tech companies rally.

Stocks continued their climb after the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, released the minutes to its March meetings early today. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) climbed 1.21% to 1,587.65, hitting an intraday record. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) increased 0.99% to 14,818.22, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 1.79% to 3,295.68.

The FOMC released the minutes report for its meetings held on March 19 and March 20 at 9 a.m. EDT. The early release occurred because 100 congressional staffers and trade lobbyists received the minutes report at 2 p.m. EDT yesterday. The committee felt that the quantitative easing program has helped the economy, though some members fear the long-term continuation of the place may lead to instability. Also, the committee stated that the Federal Reserve will likely hold onto its $1.1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities to duration rather than sell them back into the marketplace. It did not specify any strategy for ending its zero interest rate policy. Read the full report here.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated that the bank will take all steps necessary to reach the 2% target inflation rate and indicated that monthly policy adjustments are unlikely.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, or MBA, reported today that its MBA Purchase Applications Composite Index increased 4.5% week-over-week for the week ended April 5. The Purchase Index decreased 1% week-over-week, and the Refinance Index climbed 6% week-over-week.

The Energy Information Administration, or EIA, reported today in its Petroleum Status Report that US commercial crude inventories, which exclude the inventory of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 0.3 million barrels week-over-week to 388.9 million barrels for the week ended April 5. Last week, gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels, and distillate fuel inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels. Refineries operated at 86% capacity last week. Read the full report here.

The US Treasury will release its budget report for March today at 2 p.m. EDT. In February, the Treasury's deficit was $203.5 billion.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) increased 2.68% to $29.89. The company announced today that its investigational compound palbociclib received the "Breakthrough Therapy" designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for the potential treatment of patients with breast cancer.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) jumped 2.76% to $22.35, increasing for a second day.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) rose 2.85% to $21.57, also increasing for a second day. Cisco and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have partnered to provide joint technologies and integrated solutions for for data centers that use Microsoft's Cloud OS technologies.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) spiked 3.47% to $107.92. The stock hit a new 52-week high; its previous 52-week high of $106.40 occurred on April 2.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) rose 2.55% to $45.01.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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Position in CSCO and INTC.
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