Today’s Stock Market Movers | Wednesday March 18, 2009

March 19th, 2009 by InvestorPoint

U.S. stock indexes rose Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said the bank would purchase U.S. Treasuries and increase its investment in housing.

The Fed left lending rates unchanged at zero to 0.25 percent, but said it would buy $300 billion worth of U.S. Treasuries in the next six months and increase its purchases of mortgage-backed security assets by $750 billion.

The announcement turned markets around from a loss of more than 50 points. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 90.88 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,486.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 2.09 percent, 16.23 points, to 794.35. The Nasdaq composite index rose 29.11 points, 1.99 percent, to 1,491.22.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond jumped on the news, rising 4 20/32 to yield 2.478 percent.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange as 2,494 stocks advanced and 590 declined on a volume of 6.6 billion shares traded.

The euro rose to $1.3472, compared to Tuesday’s $1.3014. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 96.31 yen, compared to Tuesday’s 98.54 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average gained 23.04 points to 7,972.17, up 0.29 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 1.35 percent, 52.11 points, to 3,804.99.

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