Wednesday Closing Update

by: Midnight Trader

April 29, 4:21 p.m. ET:

NYSE up 146.3 (+2.7%) to 5,516.14

DJIA up 168.8 (2.1%) to 8,185.73

S&P 500 up 18.5 (2.2%) to 873.64

Nasdaq up 38.1 (2.3%) to 1,711.94


Nikkei -2.7%

Hang Seng +2.8%

FTSE +2.3%


(+) JNY 1Q profit beats expectations.

(+) GWW raises dividend 15%.

(+) DNDN on cancer data.

(+) DWA on upgrade, earnings beat.

(+) LNC on upgrade.

(+) BAC, C on upgrade at Fox-Pitt.

(+) TWX beats Q1 expectations.

(+) ELN after reporting on Tysabri study.

(+) Q misses with revenue, beats on earnings.

(+) BKC meets with Q3 earnings, guides in line.


(-) VFC Q1 profit falls.

(-) PMTC beats on Q2 earnings, but guidance below Street.

(-) GENR says liquidation plan approved.

(-) ETFC seeing continued selling after post-bell earnings raised
concern about need for more capital.

(-) MT misses with Q1 results.


The major averages end up around 2%, pushing the broad S&P 500 to three-month highs. Financial stocks rallied after an analyst upgraded the sector. Energy shares were also gainers.

The Federal Reserve's outlook backed up Wall Street's earlier response to a weaker-than-expected GDP reading. Wall Street instead focused on spending data within the report. The Federal Open Market Committee said that spending has stabilized and that the pace of the downturn appeared to be somewhat slower.

There weren't any surprises in the Federal Reserve's post-meeting statement but the central bank's assessment did soothe Wall Street. The FOMC kept its target interest rate unchanged at an ultra-low 0%-to-0.25% range.

Investors shrugged off a worse-than-expected GDP report and instead focused on the part of the report that showed a surprise jump in consumer spending. The government said the economy contracted at an annual rate of 6.1 percent during the first three months of the year, a steeper drop than the 5 percent decline forecast by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. However, consumers boosted their spending by 2.2% after two straight quarters of reductions. The growth rate was the strongest in two years.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) gained after Fox Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller raised the industry to "marketweight" from "underweight," saying non-performing assets will peak at the end of this year.

Energy stocks got a boost as crude oil rose back above $50 per barrel. The government reported that gasoline inventories fell sharply last week. Crude oil inventories, however, rose more than double what analysts expected for the week ended April 24. Crude for June delivery rose $1.05, or 2.1%, to close at $50.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May reformulated gasoline gained 4.68 cents, or 3.3%, to $1.4463 a gallon.

Better-than-expected earnings reports are also helping to drive the market higher. DreamWorks Animation SKG (NASDAQ:DWA) surged 21 percent and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) added 4.3 percent after topping estimates, joining 19 other S&P 500 companies that exceeded projections today.

Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) shares more than doubled in market value, erasing yesterday's 45% plunge that caused a trading halt before the company reported that its lead drug candidate worked against prostate cancer.