So can we call this one the Steve Jobs rally?
US stocks rise after Apple unveils its latest product, the iPad. Of course, there was other news today, too. The FOMC left interest rates alone, Geithner got an earful from Congress, and new homes sales slid. Oh, and there were some earnings reports.
DJIA rises 42 (0.4%) to 10236, after dropping as much as 90 after Fed announcement, and spending most of the session in the red. S&P 500 rises 5 (0.5%) to 1098, Nasdaq Comp gains 18 (0.8%) to 2221. The Dow’s up two of the past three sessions, but down five of the past eight, since the selling started on the idea of January. For the technically minded, the Dow and S&P 500 have been bouncing just above their 100-day moving averages, 10176 and 1092, respectively, which are acting as some support here. Once wonders what lies beneath.
Actually, we’ll answer the question in the headline. It was the FOMC report, which contained a “dissenter” among the committee voters, the first inkling that maybe, at some point, perhaps, possibly, the economy’s come off the floor enough that the central bank can start thinking about maybe, at some point, perhaps, possibly raising interest rates off the floor, too. Maybe.
Fed days often produce gains for stocks. The trick is to see what happens the next day. Because before the usual noise associated with the Fed, stocks looked weak again.
Besides all that high profile stuff, new home sales “unexpectedly” fell (after existing sales took an absolute swan dive,) underscoring once again the precarious state of housing. Did somebody saw housing hit bottom?
And Caterpillar falls sharply after offering a tepid outlook. The industrial bellwether saw sales and profits slide sharply, and while it sees a rise this year, it doesn’t see much of a rise.
And the day isn’t even over. The President will deliver his first State of the Union address tonight. Originally, this was going to be a victory lap for healthcare reform, but since that plan got scuttled, the administration will focus on something more mundane, like, oh, the economy.