Wall Street Rises on Fed Hopes; Dollar Gains on Yen; Health-Care Cost Inflation to Stunt in 2014
Stocks soared today due to growth-oriented sectors rallying on expectations that the Fed will maintain its current level of bond purchases when it issues its policy statement tomorrow. The Fed began its two-day meeting today, and traders are still debating whether the Fed will begin to wind down its purchases of $85 billion per month of bonds, or known as quantitative easing. Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners in New York, said: “Odds are the news isn’t as good as what people are expecting.”
Dollar Gains on Yen Ahead of Fed (Reuters)
The dollar rose against the yen today for a second straight session, as traders bet that the Federal Reserve may signal it will reduce its bond buying program. If the Fed decides to do so, the tapering would boost the dollar, which has been hit by the Fed’s easy money policies during the past few years. “The yen’s fresh leg lower today could be a sign that many investors think the Fed will signal a reasonable chance of a taper as later in the third quarter,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
According to a recent report, sluggish health-care inflation is expected to slow down even more so in 2014 as consumers, employers and the federal government continue to cut medical costs. In addition, the rate of health-care inflation could drop in the future as Obamacare takes full effect and employers and consumers pay greater attention to costs. “For an industry that until recently has consistently seen double-digit growth, the ongoing slow-down poses immediate financial challenges,” the report noted.