The Fed has decided to keep interest rates unchanged and will not begin to taper the $85 billion in asset purchases per month.
The news is no surprise to the market, but the statement associated with the decision was enough to move everything from stocks to bonds to currencies.
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For the most part, todays statement from the Fed was identical to the one released in September. They note that the economy is growing at a moderate pace again today. One difference is the reference to the weakness in the slowing of the housing market. Even though the changes from last month it gave investors a reason to take profits after a big rally in the short-term.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY)
Stocks initially rallied after the announcement and then headed south to hit new daily lows. SPY traded to the lowest level of the week as investors decided it was better to sell first and analyze later. Choppy action followed the sell-off with some investors thinking the Fed announcement is as good as any time to take profits. On the other side of the trade were investors using the weakness to buy stocks at a discounted price. Short-term more selling could be the case, but longer-term the Fed continuing its monthly program is good for stocks.
SPDR Gold ETF (NYSE:GLD)
When the tapering begins it is perceived that the price of gold will fall as the U.S. Dollar rises. With the Fed printing less money it will result in less supply of greenbacks in the market and thus a higher valuation for the currency. Gold and the U.S. Dollar historically move inverse to each other. GLD fell more than $2/share after the announcement as the U.S. Dollar rose in value.
The Fed announcement should not have caused the metal to fall, except GLD already rallied seven percent in the last two weeks. This was most likely a case of buy the rumor, sell the news. Gold did rebound after the initial bounce and was last trading off the lows of the session.
The PowerShares U.S. Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP) had an intraday chart that was the opposite of GLD. The ETF rallied after the announcement before pulling back in the last hour of trading. The longer-term trend for UUP remains lower and it would not be surprising to see new lows in the weeks ahead.
It is always interesting to see how different asset classes react to news in the day and age of information overload. Often times the initial move lasts a short period of time before the real trend emerges. The next two days will be critical to the next trend in the market and various asset classes.
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