US Markets Extend Strong Gains

Edited By Barsha B. Baruah

Minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting prop up markets

The US market rebounded during mid-day trading on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, due to the Federal Reserve’s announcement. The global markets also rose on Wednesday after minutes from the Fed indicated that there is no rush to raise the interest rates and there will not be a change in Fed’s monetary policy.

The Fed said that though the US labor market is healing, the recovery needs to be more convincing to change its view on when to increase the interest rates. The market closed relatively on a higher note on Wednesday with the S&P 500 finishing at 1,986.51, up 0.25% and the Dow Jones industrial average ending the day at 16,979.13, up 0.35%. On the other hand, the NASDAQ Composite dipped 0.02%, to close at 4,526.48. Eight out of ten sectors have ended their sessions on positive notes, the Industrials and Consumer Discretionary sectors have gained 0.98% and 0.51%, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

The US equity markets have resumed their upward momentum this week as the investors breathed easier over the Ukraine crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.06% on Monday, August 18, to close the day at 16,838.74, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.85%, to end at 1,971.74. Further, the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite added 0.97%, to finish the day at 4,508.31. In stock news during the session, Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) bid $9.7 billion for rival Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO), topping the $8.95 billion bid made in late July by Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR).

The global stock markets rose on Tuesday, August 19, due to improved US housing data and the diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in Ukraine. During the session, Dow component The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), reported strong earnings, which lifted Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.48% to finish the day at 16,919.59. The Home Depot Inc.’s shares closed the session at $88.23 with a gain of 5.6%, which was its largest daily percentage gain since May 2009. Further, the S&P 500 ended the day at 1,981.60, up 0.50%. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was among the most heavily traded stock during the session that hit $100 for the first time since its seven-for-one split in June 2014, helping the NASDAQ Composite to close the session at 4,527.51, up 0.43%. Except for the Telecommunication Services sector, all the other sectors have ended on positive notes on Wednesday.


The shares of the below-mentioned companies were among the top gainers on Wednesday, August 20, 2014:

  • Shares of International Rectifier Corp. (NYSE: IRF), a world leader in power management technology, rallied 47.21%, closing the day at $39.10.
  • A biopharmaceutical company, Amicus Therapeutics Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FOLD) stock gained 20.35%, ending the day at $5.50.

Shares of Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PTX) gained 17.83% to finish the day at $8.26. The company announced that it has closed its acquisition of Treximet from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which was initiated on May 14, 2014. Shakers

Some of the stocks have triggered heavy losses for the US equity markets during the trading session on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. They are mentioned below:

    • Digital Ally Inc. (NASDAQ: DGLY), which manufactures and markets advanced technology products for law enforcement, homeland security and commercial applications, was among the worst-performing stocks. The stock plummeted 18.22% to close at $5.79.
    • Shares in Vringo Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNG), which is engaged in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property and mobile technologies, saw its shares plunge 17.14%, finishing the day at $1.16.
    • Real Goods Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: RGSE), one of the nation’s pioneering solar energy companies serving commercial and residential customers, witnessed a fall of 17.12% in its shares, closing the day at $1.84.

Global Market Snapshot

The European stocks closed lower on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, ending a two-day rally. The European investors rattled by Carlsberg’s warning that profits would fall this year due to deteriorating conditions in Russia. The FTSE 100 Index dropped 0.35% at 6,755.48, on Wednesday, August 20, as indicated in the graph below.

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for an eighth consecutive day on Wednesday’s trading session, closing at 15,478.72, up 0.20%. Further, the Index edged 0.85% higher, finishing Thursday’s session at 15,586.20.

Source: Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s benchmark index climbed to a new six-year closing high on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, on account of strong global markets and upbeat corporate earnings. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.20% on Wednesday, closing at 25,159.76. However, the index was trading down 0.88% at the time of reporting on Thursday August 21, 2014.

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

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