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Markets Hit Record Highs Post-Fed But Can't Hold


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

The S&P 500 hit a new record high of 2134.72 after the release of the FOMC minutes this afternoon.

Fed officials said they didn't expect to raise rates in June despite their conclusion that economic weakness in the first quarter was "transitory". The Fed expects the economy expected to return to moderate growth. Additionally, they said the strong dollar may have a larger and longer impact than previously assumed.

Stocks ignited after the minutes hit, but they couldn't hold the rally into the close, and the S&P finished at 2125.8, down 0.1%.

The NASDAQ Composite hit a new post-bubble high at 5097.52, and finished up 0.03%.

Biotech was the best performing sector today by a country mil;e. The S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) rallied 1.58%, while the NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed up 0.86%. Prima Biomed (PBMD) surged a massive 269.38% after it announced results for the final test data of its ovarian cancer treatment.

Cybersecurity also performed well, led by FireEye (FEYE).

Oil prices rebounded after US crude oil supplies fell for a third consecutive week, which hit transportation stocks hard.

Earnings numbers were mixed today.

Hormel Foods' (HRL) earnings beat was well received, and it closed up 4.2%. Target (TGT) also finished up 0.3% on its earnings beat.

Lowe's (LOW) missed expectations and got hit hard, with shares falling 4.9%.

Yahoo (YHOO) rallied 4.4% after it said that its spin-off of Alibaba (BABA) would not be impacted by tax law changes.

Several major banks were hit with $5.6 billion in fines for currency and rate fixing. Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), and Barclay's (BCS) were among those fined. Despite the news, BCS hit a new 52-week high at $16.95, and finished up 3.4%. Other banks involved dropped slightly, but the drop was comparable to the performance of Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

European stocks finished up despite concerns that Greece won't be able to make its IMF loan payments.

Spain's IBEX rallied 0.66% and France's CAC gained 0.3%, while German's DAX fell 0.04%.

Asian stocks were up, with the Korean Kopsi rising 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.7%. The Hang Seng fell 0.4%.

Japan's Nikkei hit a new 15-year high on better than expected GDP data and a weaker yen.

Thursday's Financial Outlook

In US economic news, the Fed's Williams will speak in California, while Fisher will speak in Portugal.

On the data front, we'll see Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, initial jobless claims, continuing claims, Markit US manufacturing PMI, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, existing home sales, EIA natural gas storage change, and Kansas City Fed manufacturing data.

Overseas, we will receive the ECB account of April's policy meeting, Japan's all industry activity index, eurozone PMI's, Britain retail sales, the Bank of Japan's monetary policy statement, and China's Conference Board leading economic index.

In earnings, Advance Auto (AAP), Best Buy (BBY), Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Sears Holding (SHLD) report before the open. After the close, we'll be hearing from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), and Marvell (MRVL).
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