By Markus Heitkoetter
￼Stocks traded higher for the second consecutive session today.
Things kicked off early with the Weekly Unemployment Claims at 8:30am ET. The report beat expectations with only 263k filing for unemployment vs. the 274k expected. Today’s reading was the third lowest reading this year.
Although the report was good news, it did little to move the markets. Stocks opened the U.S. session lower, and the E-Mini S&P remained in a 7-point range during the morning session.
With choppy sideways trading early, it became clear that traders were waiting for today’s FOMC Meeting Minutes release at 2pm ET.
Today’s minutes finally got the markets moving, and provided the springboard for breaking into positive territory for the day.
The general conclusion from today’s minutes?
The fed held off on a rate hike because of global concerns.
All members except for one believe a rate hike before the end of the year is warranted.
In the end, the S&P finished 0.9% higher. Up 17.5 points, the S&P ended the day at 2013.43. Today’s close was the FIRST close above the 2000 mark since August 20th.
The DOW ended with a 0.8% gain. Up 138 points, the DOW finished at 17050.75. The DOW closed above 17,000 for the first time since August 20th. In fact, after today’s close the DOW is trading 11% higher than the August low.
The NASDAQ lagged behind the S&P and DOW today. The NASDAQ finished the day with a 0.4% increase. Up 19.5 points, the NASDAQ closed at 4810.79.
Overall it has been a slow week for economic reports. This remains true going into the last day of the week with Import Prices scheduled at 8:30am ET.
Aside from reports, FOMC member Lockhart is scheduled to speak at 9:10am ET and FOMC Member Evans will speak at 1:30pm ET.
Typically Fed members other than Janet Yellen do little to move the market. But with the general sensitivity to “Fedspeak” these days, comments from Fed members tomorrow should be noted.