Friday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories That Moved Markets

The markets soared to close up nearly a full percent across the board today. Strength in the labor market, high earnings, and positive manufacturing data from Europe and China all played a roll in pushing the Dow to close above 14,000 and the S&P to close above 1,500.

At the close: DJIA: +1.08%, S&P 500: +0.99%, NASDAQ: +1.18%.

Here are three stories that helped move the markets today:Federal_Reserve

1) Surfing the market highs, top Federal Reserve officials put in a cautious vote of confidence for the U.S. economy today. In an interview with Bloomberg, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said that he thinks “a lot of uncertainties that were around this economy in 2012 have come off the table.”

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He suggests that improvements the European economy and revitalized growth in Asia could help bolster the American economy, despite an unexpected fourth-quarter GDP contraction. At the Fed’s meeting this week, Bullard voted in favor of continuing the Fed’s $85 billion per month asset-purchase program, as well as keeping interest rates near zero until the U-3 unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent. The Fed’s decision to continue the program has drawn some critical comments from observers who think that the Fed’s balance sheet, now over $3 trillion, has grown too large.