Stocks hold onto gains after retail sales report
December 14th, 2010
07:53 PM ET

Stocks hold onto gains after retail sales report

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks pare gains in final hour

U.S. stocks eased off earlier gains but finished higher Tuesday, as investors found little reason to jump into the fray after the Fed kept rates steady and left its bond-buying plan alone.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 48 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 11,476.54, the highest closing price since September 2008. Earlier, the blue-chip index gained 86 points and hit a fresh two-year intraday high of 11,514.08.

About two-thirds of the 30 Dow issues advanced, with AT&T, Kraft Foods, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft leading the way. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq briefly drifted into negative territory during the last hour of trade but also ended with gains. The S&P 500 rose 1 point, or 0.1%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 3 points, or 0.1%.

Stocks had rallied out of the gate Tuesday morning, following a better-than-expected retail sales report from the U.S. Commerce Department, and held onto gains for most of the afternoon.

Treasury yields spike to 7-month highs after Fed

Treasury yields climbed to seven-month highs Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and upbeat economic data pushed stocks higher.

The Federal Reserve's announcement Tuesday that it will hold interest rates unchanged added pressure to an early sell-off, with Treasury yields moving sharply higher as prices continued to slide.

In its policy statement, the central bank said the unemployment rate remains "elevated" and progress toward a recovery is "disappointingly slow."

It also said it is moving ahead with its plan to pump $600 billion into the economy through the purchase of long-term Treasuries, its second round of quantitative easing, which has been referred to as QE2.

- reporters Blake Ellis and Hibah Yousuf contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. the fed shell game

    Guess who is under the other two shells.

    December 15, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    Your pet crab?

    December 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |