Wednesday’s Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday afternoon, pushing the S&P 500 to a new intraday high after the minutes from the FOMC meeting were released early. At 12:30 p.m.:

DJIA: +0.87% to 14,801.70 S&P 500: +1.07% to 1,585.40 NASDAQ: +1.66% to 3,291.45
Gold: -1.08% to $1,569.60 per ounce WTI Crude: -0.29% to $93.93 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: +0.038 points to 1.789%

Here are three stories moving markets on Tuesday afternoon:

1) 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.

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“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.)

2) The Good Times Continue to Roll for Real Estate: The housing recovery is heavily dependent on low interest rates induced by the Federal Reserve, but mortgage applications continue to slowly grind higher.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report for the week ending April 5, loan application volume gained 4.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. This comes after a 4.0 percent decline. These figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and covers over 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications… (Read more.)

3) Will Credit-Card Debt Sink Your Retirement? Despite the lingering effects of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, consumers are ramping up their borrowing. While much of the recent increase is due to auto and student loans, credit cards are providing an extra pain for those in their golden years.

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Consumer credit in the United States rose more than $18 billion to a seasonally adjusted $2.8 trillion in February, according to the latest Federal Reserve report. It was the biggest jump in half a year and well above estimates calling for a $15 billion gain. Revolving credit, which mainly consists of credit-card debt, increased $532.82 billion to about $848 billion outstanding… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: FOMC Minutes: U.S. Economy Is Back On Track.

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