TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Bernanke encourages market

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 7:15 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — Some soothing words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pushed the stock market to slender gains on Wednesday. Higher earnings for several major companies also helped.

Bernanke said that the central bank has no firm timetable for cutting back on its bond purchases.

The Fed would consider reducing its stimulus program if the economy improves, but Bernanke emphasized in his testimony to Congress that the reductions were “by no means on a preset course.”

The concern has been that “the Fed was going to dial the (stimulus) down to zero regardless how the economy was doing,” said Phil Orlando, chief market strategist at Federated Investors. “I don't think that's the case at all ... the Fed is going to evaluate the economic landscape,” before it cuts its stimulus, Orlando said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 4.65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,680.91. The Nasdaq composite rose 11.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,610.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,470.52.

The Dow was held back by American Express and Caterpillar. The credit card company's stock slumped $1.47, or 1.9 percent, to $76.80 after European regulators proposed to cap the lucrative processing fees the card company imposes.

Caterpillar fell $1.50, or 1.7 percent, to $86.67 when prominent short-seller Jim Chanos said he was shorting the stock because it was exposed to a slump in the mining industry. Chanos said Caterpillar was “tied to the wrong products at the wrong time.”

Bernanke's comments had a stronger impact on the Treasury market than on the stock market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.49 percent from 2.53 percent late Tuesday as investors bought U.S. government bonds.

The yield has been declining since July 5, when it surged to 2.74 percent after the government reported that hiring was strong in June.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Jobs report fails to provide clarity to investors
  2. Trimmer Pilot belies more room, power
  3. Alcoa putting $60M into Upper Burrell tech center expansion
  4. U.S. adds 173,000 jobs in August, dropping unemployment rate to 5.1 percent
  5. Fifth Third Bank selling Pittsburgh branches to First National
  6. Robust jobs report could force Federal Reserve to raise interest rates
  7. Stocks end roller-coaster day higher
  8. PPG’s new CEO to push organic growth with existing clients
  9. Indian SUV maker Mahindra to debut electric scooter in U.S.
  10. Judge rules against PPG in lawsuit over pollution
  11. NexTier Bank buys Oakland’s Eureka to increase coverage in Western Pennsylvania