The Federal Reserve cut rates to 1% as expected. For more than an hour after the news, the markets traded flat. With no apparent reason, stocks rocketed up in the last hour-and-a-half of trading and then died at the close. A lot of work for nothing.
DJIA: 8,990.96 down 0.74%
Nasdaq: 1,657.21 up 0.47%
S&P 500 930.01 down 1.11%
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) surged over 9% to $109 on a rumor from research firm Bernstein that the company might buy-back as much as $20 billion of its stock. Even if the comments have no basis in fact, it helped the stock move more than most of its earnings announcements do.
GM (NYSE: GM) moved up almost 10% to $6.90 on press reports that all major issues it needed to negotiate with Chrysler owner Cerberus before the companies could merge had been decided. The fact that GM does not have the capital to make the marriage work did not seem to matter to investors.
The nation's largest cable company, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) put up impressive numbers for the third quarter, but Wall Street was not happy with its forecast and pushed the firm's share down by over 6% to $15.88.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.