Stocks Retreat After Fed, S&P Ekes Out Win!
Wall Street retreated following the afternoon press conference from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The two day December FOMC policy meeting concluded Wednesday. The U.S. central bank said it would add $45 billion in Treasury-note purchases to its $40 billion-a-month purchases of mortgage-backed bonds, and would keep official rates near zero so long as the jobless rate remains above 6.5% and inflation is not forecast to rise above 2.5%. Political gamesmanship is stilling running muck on Capitol Hill, with the Fed unable to shield the economy from the negative effects of the fiscal cliff. Halting a five-session winning run, its longest since March, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.99 points, or -0.02% to 13,245.45. The S&P 500 Index advanced its winning streak after posting a 0.64-point gain, or 0.04% to end at 1,428.48, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 8.49 points, or 0.28%, to 3,013.81.
Crude oil for January delivery rose 98 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $86.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Aided by the additional monetary stimulus, gold rose $8.30, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,717.90 an ounce.