Fed Optimism = Dow Drop?

Talk about taking good news poorly. The markets pushed lower, before recovering some losses at the end of the trading session, on what most outside observers would call good news. The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (FOMC) released notes showing confidence in the economy and a hesitance for additional quantitative easing. The QE program has been a boon to the markets, sending them on the amazing bull run we've witnessed recently. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hasn't taken it off the table, especially if the recovery was to falter, but is he simply pandering to a market hoping for one last boost?

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are faring so far today and then take a closer look at several stocks making news.

Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) (64.94) (0.49%) 13,199.55
Nasdaq (6.13) (0.20%) 3,113.57
S&P 500 (5.66) (0.40%) 1,413.38

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

The FOMC notes weren't the only event affecting the markets. U.S. auto sales may have disappointed some analysts, despite just recording the best three-month run in four years, as they rang up an adjusted $14.4 million in annual sales. General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) bore the brunt of that disappointment, after posting its own industry-lagging numbers, and saw shares knocked down 5%. Demand for hybrid and fuel-efficient cars showed, as 20% of Toyota's sales were hybrid vehicles. It makes sense, then, that Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA  ) finished up 4%. Tesla's electric vehicles have limitations hybrids don't, but as consumers migrate toward the fuel-efficient end of the automotive pool, Tesla may find itself in the right place at the right time with the right product.

Turning from what supporters say will become the "Apple of autos" to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) itself, Piper Jaffray put itself out on a limb, setting a $1,000-per-share price target by 2014 and declaring Apple the first trillion-dollar company. It may pay to be Apple, but maybe not to be an Apple supplier: SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK  ) just cut guidance. Again. The No. 1 flash memory maker cited weak pricing and demand as the reason it won't be hitting its already lowered targets. Shares are down 8% after hours. Ouch!

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  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 12:28 AM, rfaramir wrote:

    "The QE program has been a boon to the markets"

    But not to the economy. Dollar holders have had to scurry out of dollars as soon as they earn them, pushing up the S&P and commodities. This recent rise in the market has been fueled by fake dollars.

    "a hesitance for additional quantitative easing"

    This implies (but does not mean) a slightly less weak dollar, which of course brings down the price of things priced in dollars, like the S&P and commodities (esp PMs). Normally when things you want to buy go down in price, this is a time of rejoicing, right? Why complain about it now?

    Because "a hesitance" really means, he will hesitate a moment, to shake out the weak hands, and then go ahead with QE(n+1) or one of its equivalents and print more funny money.

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