Wednesday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories That Moved Markets

U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday, pushing the S&P 500 to a fresh record.

DJIA: +0.88% to 14,802.20 S&P 500: +1.22% to 1,587.73 NASDAQ: +1.83% to 3,297.25
Gold:  -$27.90 to $1,558.80 per ounce WTI Crude: +0.38% to $94.56 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.055 points to 1.806%
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Here are three stories that helped move markets on Wednesday:

1) President Barack Obama Releases Fiscal 2014 Budget Proposal: Obama releases his 2014 budget proposal on Wednesday afternoon, a full nine weeks late. The budget projects a deficit of $744 billion, or 4.4 percent of GDP. With $1.8 trillion in additional deficit reduction planned over 10 years, the President’s proposal would reduce the deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2016, and to 1.7 percent of GDP by 2023.

The President’s budget includes more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in new revenue. One of the key considerations in the President’s proposal is a switch to the chained Consumer Price Index in order to calculate cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security and veteran pensions. This would curb the growth of benefits, and bring down costs… (Read more.)

2) Is Slowing Economic Growth Curbing Demand for Oil? “Recent indicators of weaker industrial data at the beginning of 2013 signal slower growth than in prior years,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in its forecast of world oil demand for this year and the next.

Because the economic recovery worldwide is only expected to be moderate, the lower growth will keep gains in oil demand lower than projected a month earlier. As part of this larger assessment, the EIA noted that U.S. oil consumption is expected to increase fractionally to 18.62 million barrels a day this year from a 16-year low of 18.55 million barrels a day in 2012… (Read more.)

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3) FOMC Minutes: U.S. Economy Is Back On Track: Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s eight-times-per-year meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee hit the streets early and with the a bang. The implications hidden within the 24 pages of text is that the central bank should begin tapering its bond program later this year and stop it completely by the end of the year as economic conditions are slowly improving.

“Generally favorable U.S. economic data releases, along with communications from Federal Reserve policymakers regarding the outlook for the economy and monetary policy, appeared to contribute to improved sentiment in domestic financial markets over the inter-meeting period despite some renewed concerns about economic and financial conditions in Europe,” the Federal Reserve wrote… (Read more.)

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