Wednesday finally brought investors the answer to their biggest question, and they generally liked what they saw. The stock market climbed after the Federal Reserve announced that it would keep interest rates unchanged at its September Federal Open Market Committee meeting, setting the stage for a potential December rate hike, but leaving most Fed watchers pleased with the outcome.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT:SPY) picked up more than 1% on the day, mirroring the gains among major market benchmarks. More volatile emerging-market stocks did even better, sending the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEMKT:EEM) up 3%.
Caesars makes a bigger offer
Caesars Entertainment soared 21% after the casino company made a new offer to creditors in its operating subsidiary's bankruptcy proceeding. Caesars said that it and the sponsors of the proposed bankruptcy plan for Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. would increase the amount of value distributed to holders of second-lien notes by a total of about $1.6 billion, including almost $1.05 billion in Caesars stock contributed by plan sponsors and on behalf of shareholders who haven't sponsored the plan. In addition, individual directors and officers would provide cash of more than $100 million through insurance companies covering their potential liability, and holders of more senior first-lien notes and bondholders would reduce their recovery slightly.
Investors hope that the proposed deal will prevent a protracted fight against Caesars, preserving the value of Caesars stock and avoiding what could be a painful and costly legal battle over whether the company is liable for its operating subsidiary's debts.
Barrick is golden
Barrick Gold soared 9% on a good day for gold-mining stocks: The broader VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT:GDX) gained 7% after the Fed's decision not to change interest rates. Gold markets prefer low rates, because it reduces the financing costs of maintaining positions in physical bullion. In addition, because of Barrick's superior cost structure and high-quality mining assets, its stock often picks up more ground than some of its smaller, weaker peers.
If conditions keep improving in the market, Barrick stands to post even larger gains in the long run.
Etsy makes a pretty gain
Finally, Etsy climbed 8%. The company got favorable upgrades from stock analysts following its move to buy artificial intelligence start-up company Blackbird Technologies earlier this week. Etsy hopes that the purchase of the privately held company will allow it to optimize the search results it provides to its customers, with the goal of "enhancing the buyer experience by making search quicker and easier and by surfacing even more relevant, tailored product recommendations," in the words of CEO Chad Dickerson.
Given how important appearances are for Etsy's product lines, technology that can pull out details from photos could dramatically improve the customer experience, and several analysts agree that the online marketplace could see a dramatic pickup in activity because of the move.