Wall Street rises as Fed seen easing soon

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) hit fresh 5-month highs on Tuesday as details from the Fed’s latest meeting showed the U.S. central bank may once again flood markets with cheap cash “before long” to further boost growth.

The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September 21 meeting served as another strong signal for a stock market that has surged for weeks on rising hopes for more Fed action. The S&P 500 index is up 11.5 percent since the start of September.

“The (stock) market should continue to be supported by these positive comments from policy-makers over the next few days,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

Shares of drilling contractors rose after the Obama administration lifted its ban on deepwater drilling seven weeks ahead of schedule.

U.S.-traded shares of Transocean Ltd (RIG.N: ) climbed 4.7 percent to $64.81 and Diamond Offshore (DO.N: ) gained 4 percent to $69.37. The PHLX oil services sector index (.OSX: ) rose 1.7 percent.

Intel Corp (INTC.O: ), up 1.1 percent at $19.77 during regular trading hours, added another 1 percent to $19.97 after hours following stronger-than-expected third-quarter results and a forecast for better sales in the fourth quarter.

In the regular session, Apple (AAPL.O: ) was up 1.1 percent at $298.54 and led the Nasdaq’s advance after Barclays raised its price target on the company’s stock.

Technology stocks are at their cheapest in 20 years and the weaker U.S. dollar will likely benefit the entire sector, said hedge fund industry pioneer Lee Ainslie.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 10.06 points, or 0.09 percent, to 11,020.40. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 4.45 points, or 0.38 percent, to 1,169.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 15.59 points, or 0.65 percent, to 2,417.92.

The expectation of more cheap cash helped lift bank stocks. Bank of America (BAC.N: ) rose 2.8 percent to $13.52 and the KBW bank index (.BKX: ) gained 1.5 percent.

Rx FOR A RALLY

Shares of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: ), the world’s largest drugmaker and a Dow component, gained 0.5 percent to $17.47 after it agreed to buy King Pharmaceuticals Inc (KG.N: ) for $3.6 billion. King Pharma shares jumped 39.4 percent to $14.15.

The dollar index (Read more about the global trade. ) (.DXY: ), a gauge of the greenback against a basket of currencies, erased its earlier gain and was down 0.16 percent at the close. Investors have of late used fluctuations in the U.S. currency as a trigger to move into or out of stocks. The 30-day correlation between the index and the S&P 500 ticked down to -0.90.

China’s bid to cool down its economy partly offset the Fed’s resolve, as it sparked concerns it could crimp global growth. An official Chinese newspaper reported the government raised bank reserve requirements by 50 basis points, the fourth hike this year, due to excessive lending.

The report confirmed a Reuters story on Monday.

Nearly 7.5 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, just above the 20-day moving average of about 7.48 billion.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of slightly more than 4-to-3, while on the Nasdaq, seven stocks rose for every five that fell.

GUARDING AGAINST ‘DISAPPOINTMENT’

In the options market, a big bet hinted an investor is bracing for a decline in the S&P 500 of nearly 5 percent within the next month.

The investor’s trade, a massive bearish put spread on the popular SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (SPY.P: ) , is profitable if the fund’s shares fall more than 4.6 percent from their current price, to trade below the break-even point of $111.575 by November expiration.

The ETF was up 33 cents at $116.99.

“The trade is a way to hedge in case the earnings season is a disappointment,” said TD Ameritrade chief derivatives strategist Joe Kinahan.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Doris Frankel; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Wall Street rises as Fed seen easing soon