Markets were still in a state of quantitative-easing inspired euphoria today, a day after the Fed announced its latest bond-buying program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is up 0.3%, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) has risen 0.4% in trading today.
Stocks tied to commodities are leading the way, with Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) up 2.4% and Caterpillar up 2.6% with a half-hour left in the trading day. Copper, silver, and oil are all up on hopes that QE will rev up the economy and boost demand. Ironically, the increase in commodity prices will hurt the economy for a variety of reasons, so these stocks may not benefit from QE3 after all.
Gold is also up -- no surprise, as it's been driven higher by the Fed's "money-printing" campaign.
Pharmaceutical stocks led the decliners today. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) is down 1.9% in late trading, and Merck (NYSE: MRK ) is down 2.2%, but there isn't much explanation for the big move. Pharma companies won't get the same bounce as financials or infrastructure companies from stimulus, so I guess it's something of a risk-on trade today.
The rally in the past week has been fueled by central banks, and I'm a bit skeptical it will lead to the kind of results the market is evidently hoping for. All of the economic news is pointing to a pretty slow recovery, and with commodity prices moving higher, I'm not sure how that helps the middle class get out of its funk.