- The Fed wants it known that tapering is not tightening, so its commitment to keeping short-term rates low after its bond-buying program ends leaves investors giddy, sending the Dow skyrocketing nearly 300 points and the S&P up nearly 30.
- Fed policy remains ultra-easy, buying bonds at an annual $900B clip and keeping short-term rates near zero even as the jobless rate moves lower - all pluses for risk assets.
- "This is about as accommodative of a tapering statement as we were going to get," says the deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank, "but it is confidence-inspiring... [it's] a strong signal to the market."
- Financials and health care were leading stock sectors, but tech was a relative laggard as Apple fell 0.8% in the wake of Jabil Circuit's disappointing quarter.
- The dollar rose more than 1% vs. the yen but was more volatile against other currencies; Treasurys finished with modest losses, with the 10-year yield ending at 2.838%, pulling back after initially climbing to 2.922% on the Fed news.
- Gold gyrated after the Fed announcement before settling at $1,235, up 0.4%; Nymex crude rose 0.6% to $97.80 for its highest close in a week.
Fed's dovish taper sends stocks flying, Dow and S&P score record closes
Dec 18 2013, 16:20 ET