October 29th, 2010
09:44 PM ET

Uncertainty over Fed meeting keeps stocks in tight range

A look at the day's business news headlines:

Dow has best October since 2006

Stocks ended October with gains, but uncertainty sent investors to the sidelines Friday following a lackluster reading on economic growth and ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

For the month, the Dow logged its best October since 2006, rising 3 percent. The S&P gained 4 percent, its best October since 2003; the Nasdaq jumped 6 percent.

But the month ended on a quiet note Friday. TheDow Jones industrial average inched up 5 points, the S&P 500 ticked down less than a point, and the Nasdaq rose less than a point.

A report on third-quarter GDP early Friday showed the economy grew at a sluggish pace in the third quarter, signaling that quantitative easing from the Fed is still on its way.

But speculation about how far the Fed will go to boost the economy, along with the highly-anticipated Nov. 2 elections, has kept stocks in a tight range this week.

Fed plan may disappoint bond traders

Bond traders have been gearing up for the Federal Reserve's second round of stimulus measures for weeks. With the highly-anticipated announcement just days away, analysts warn that investors could be in for a disappointment.

After the central bank hinted that it plans to implement another round of quantitative easing, or buying up assets to boost the economy, traders scooped up bonds, pushing the 10-year yield to a new 52-week low of 3.33 percent earlier this month.

The buying has eased and yields have recovered some, with the 10-year back above 2.5 percent and the 30-yield breaking through 4 percent, as investors pause for details about the Fed's announcement, which is expected at the conclusion of the central bank's two-day policy meeting Nov. 3, following election night.

– CNNMoney.com reporters Blake Ellis and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (One Response)
  1. phil

    If only the Federal Reserve were actually a part of our government. Then we could simply use our "freedom of information" act to get info about them. That would be better than having Congress simply question the fed's officials as if they were no more important than steroid baseball players.

    October 30, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse | Reply

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