RealTime IT News

Goldilocks Visits Wall Street

Stocks hit fresh multi-year highs Wednesday after a Federal Reserve report showed that everything was just right with the economy.

The Dow and S&P hit their highest levels since May 2001 after the Fed's Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions found moderate growth and inflation pressures, conditions that gave traders hope that the Fed may soon end its nearly two-year rate hike campaign.

The bond market, however, lost ground on a report that showed stronger than expected manufacturing growth in New York State.

Traders will get another important read on inflation Thursday morning, when the government releases February consumer price data.

The Nasdaq rose 15 to 2311, the S&P 500 gained 5 to 1303, and the Dow climbed 58 to 11,209. Volume rose to 2.26 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.14 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 22-11 on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 79% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 258-28 on the NYSE, and 184-38 on the Nasdaq.

PMC-Sierra gained 6% on a UBS upgrade.

Palm fell 4% on a J.P. Morgan downgrade.

Wireless Facilities lost 13% on its results.