The long-awaited day has finally arrived: The Federal Reserve will finally reveal whether it's going to embark on yet another round of quantitative easing. Investors have been looking forward to today like a kid on Christmas Eve, with hopes that the U.S. answer to the European Central Bank's bailout of eurozone bond markets and China's infrastructure stimulus program will have a similarly positive impact on stocks. Given how far the market has already risen recently, though, it's uncertain whether bulls have much more room to run. In any event, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) managed to post small gains, up about 21 points as of 10:45 a.m. EDT.
Among Dow stocks, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) built on its advance yesterday, rising another 1%. The rollout of the iPhone 5 will have a marked impact on Verizon and rivals AT&T and Sprint (NYSE:S) as the carriers scurry to try to lock in the most sales while minimizing the impact of subsidy payments. Verizon has had success with its switch to data-driven pricing plans, though, and even if earnings take a subsidy-related short-term hit, rising revenue from subscribers could more than make up the difference in the long run.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) jumped more than 1% as it announced that it would split out India as a separate operating region and also restructure its operations in Southwest Asia. Although much of the attention given to emerging markets focuses on China, Coca-Cola expects to invest $5 billion in India by the end of the decade. Given India's population and its long history as a market-based economy, the emerging-economy nation makes a good match for Coke.
Finally, Disney (NYSE:DIS) posted gains of almost 1%, hitting another all-time high. The company's sports network, ESPN, is set to broadcast its 50,000th showing of its flagship SportsCenter franchise. ESPN has been a huge success for the media giant and has helped it diversify beyond its namesake movie business to become an industry giant, and all signs suggest that its dominance will continue.