- Dow Jones Industrial Average down 12.94 (-0.10%) to 12,824.39
- S&P 500 down 2.29 (-0.17%) to 1,355.69
- Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.69 (+0.02%) to 2,930.45
- Nikkei 225 Index up 1.11%
- Hang Seng Index up 0.53%
- Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.34%
- FTSE 100 Index up 0.64%
U.S. stocks ended a see-saw session near flat as the Federal Reserve's decision to extend Operation Twist was greeted with mixed sentiment.
After concluding their two-day meeting, the FOMC issued a public statement, and later chairman Bernanke spoke publicly about the health of the U.S. economy.
Operation Twist, a program in which short-term bonds are replaced with longer-term debt, was extended through 2012. It was expected to expire this month. Keeping Operation Twist in place "should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative," according to the central bank.
In his statement, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made no direct statements on another round of quantitative easing. However, many reports and analysts interpreted some of his language as "hints" that further easing remains a possibility. In the immediate aftermath of the Fed release, the Dow plunged 92 points, but it recovered a chunk of the losses.
In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) climbed amid reports the bank has sold off most of the losing corporate-credit position that cost it billions of dollars, people familiar with the matter were telling CNBC. JPM has divested between 65% to 70% of its holdings in the credit derivative index that tracks a cross-section of selected corporate debt instruments. The position played a major role in what the bank has estimated to be at least $2 billion in losses, a figure bank chief Jamie Dimon first acknowledged publicly on May 10.
In commodities, crude-oil futures ended at their lowest level since at least early October, hit by a surprise increase in inventories. Oil for July delivery retreated $2.23, or 2.7%, to settle at $81.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for August delivery declined $7.40, or 0.5%, to $1,615.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Most metals futures tracked gold lower, but silver was an exception, after spending most of the session in the red, it ended 2 cents higher at $28.39 an ounce.
(+) AMAT, Taps Gary Dickerson as President
(+) GEVO, Wins in Court
(+) GALE, President to Provide Update at Convention
(-) APPY, Prices 6.1 Mln Share Offering at $2.00 a piece
(-) FSII, Beats by $0.04, Guides Q4 Lower
(-) CIM, Declares Dividend
(-) ADBE, Beats on Q2, Sets Q3 View Mostly Below Expectations
(-) MEG, Downgraded
(-) RIMM, Announces Layoffs