Dow jumps as Fed keeps rates unchanged, better-than-expected U.S. employment; Apple shares up strongly

“U.S. stocks gained after Federal Reserve officials announced they would keep benchmark interest rates unchanged and signaled flexibility in their policy normalization path forward,” Emily McCormick reports for Yahoo Finance. “The S&P 500 rose 1.55%, or 40.95 points, as of 3:22 p.m. ET. The Dow advanced 1.76%, or 433.11 points, having been up about 250 points just ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement at 2 p.m. ET. The Nasdaq increased 2.17%, or 152.28 points.”

“The Federal Open Market Committee released a statement announcing it is pausing on interest rate hikes and holding the target range of its benchmark interest rates at the current band of 2.25% to 2.5% following its January meeting,” McCormick reports. “Investors were watching closely for more clarity surrounding the Fed’s recent rhetoric of being ‘patient’ with monetary policy amid incoming economic data and concerns of a global slowdown. To that end, the Fed delivered, saying in the statement, ‘In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.'”

“The Federal Reserve also removed reference to ‘some further gradual increases’ in the Fed funds rate, which had been mentioned in the previous December statement,” McCormick reports. “Meanwhile, Tuesday after-the-bell, Apple executives won over investors with a narrative of a product and services ecosystem beyond the iPhone, offsetting concerns of declining flagship smartphone revenues and lagging sales in China. The company’s quarterly report sent Apple higher, in turn pulling the Dow – for which any $1 move in Apple shares results in an about 6.8-point move in the index ­– higher as well.”

“U.S. private sector employment increased by a better-than-expected 213,000 jobs in January, according to a report Wednesday from ADP Research Institute. Consensus expectations had called for an increase of 181,000 jobs, according to Bloomberg data. Last month, the private sector added a downwardly revised 263,000 positions,” McCormick reports. “‘The labor market has continued its pattern of strong growth with little sign of a slowdown in sight,’ Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. ‘We saw significant growth in nearly all industries, with manufacturing adding the most jobs in more than four years. Midsized businesses continue to lead job creation, however the share of jobs was spread a bit more evenly across all company sizes this month.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As per AAPL: More*, please!

*Much more.

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