- Scott Swigart/Flickr
Stocks shot higher, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose to an all-time intraday high, after the Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.
Bonds and gold rallied, too.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 18,293.70, +163.74, (0.90%) S&P 500: 2,163.12, +23.36, (1.09%) Nasdaq: 5,295.18, +53.83, (1.03%) 10-year yield: 1.658%, -0.029 Gold: $1,337.55, +19.25, (1.46%)
The Fed held steady, saying that the case for an increase to the Fed funds rate later this year has strengthened. Three FOMC members disagreed with the decision to hold rates. While job gains have been solid, the labor market has not exerted enough upward pressure on inflation, the Fed’s statement said. The new dot plot showing where FOMC members think rates should be in the next few years was more dovish. In the longer term, Fed members see rates around 2.75% or 3%, and the median dots suggest a slower course of raising rates than the June projections. The Fed also cut its estimates for GDP, and now sees the economy growing this year by 1.7% to 1.9%, down from its previous outlook of 1.9% to 2.0%. “I can say emphatically that partisan politics play no role in our position about the appropriate stance of monetary policy,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a press conference. She was responding to a question by The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath on whether the Fed was keeping interest rates low to protect the Obama administration and, by extension, help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton win November’s election. The SEC has charged hedge fund titan Leon Cooperman with insider trading. The SEC alleged that Cooperman, of Omega Advisors, used his status as one of Atlas Pipeline Partners’ largest shareholders to access executive and confidential details about the sale of a substantial company asset. Warren Buffett will not comment on the Wells Fargo scandal until November. “If I start commenting on that or anything else, it will lead down too many paths so I will wait until November to speak about it, the election or any other subject,” he told Fox Business’ Liz Claman. Wells Fargo recently settled with regulators for $185 million after the revelation that employees had opened around 2 million accounts without customers’ knowledge. Apple has been considering buying carmaker McLaren. The FT reported that Apple also brought up a strategic investment as another option, though the paper’s sources say an acquisition was also discussed. “It’s completely untrue,” a McLaren spokesperson said.