Mixed Fed Messages Sending Markets for a Ride

Markets Reuters

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday with the Dow Industrials hitting a record intraday high as markets reacted to wavering expectations over the language the Federal Reserve will use Wednesday to describe its next policy move.

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Major indexes rallied into the afternoon with participants citing an article in the Wall Street Journal as indicating the Fed could be less hawkish than markets have been expecting.

The talk was that the Fed's statement "will stay intact or along those lines. That seems to be what shifted the markets' direction today," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

"Overall the language that's there now has been positive for the (stock) market," she said.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 125.07 points, or 0.73 percent, to 17,156.21, the S&P 500 gained 17.44 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,001.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.08 points, or 0.75 percent, to 4,552.98.

The Dow hit a record at 17,167.05.

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Energy shares continued to lead the market higher as crude prices rose. Utilities, a proxy for investor appetite for dividend payers, were also moving sharply higher.

The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Glimcher Realty, which jumped 29.65 percent after Washington Prime announced the purchase of Glimcher for $4.3 billion, while the largest percentage decliner was Atlantic Power, down 30.45 percent after it said it would replace its CEO and slash its dividend.

Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Petroleo Brasil, up 6.23 percent to $17.57; Bank of America , down 0.06 percent to $16.73, and Glimcher.

On the Nasdaq, Apple, which was down 1.2 percent to $100.40; Yahoo, which rose 0.8 percent to $42.87 and Facebook, which rose 1.9 percent to $75.96, were among the most actively traded.

Advancing issues were outnumbering declining ones on the NYSE by 2,038 to 973, for a 2.09-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,538 issues were rising and 1,121 falling for a 1.37-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The broad S&P 500 index was posting 22 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 24 new highs and 85 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)