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Dow Holds Steady After Fed News; Nike Reports, Target in Trouble

Jeremy Bowman
December 19, 2013

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

A day after the taper heard round the world, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) turned in a middling performance, finishing up 11 points, or 0.07%, while the S&P 500 edged down by a similar amount. Still, the lack of movement can be viewed as a positive, as some may have expected a sell-off after yesterday's surprise announcement that the Federal Reserve would trip its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program to $75 billion. Two straight months off 200,000-plus job growth have clearly convinced the central bankers that the economy is inexorably headed toward full employment.

Investors ignored reports, including existing home sales falling to their lowest level in a year, declining 4.3% last month, and new jobless claims hitting a nine-month high last week at 379,000. While the data may stir concerns that the recent economic recovery is perhaps not as strong as the Fed believes, the overall economic data in recent weeks has been overwhelmingly positive.

In news on individual stocks, Nike (NYSE: NKE) pulled off another strong quarter, reporting earnings after hours today.