RealTime IT News

Markets Find Footing on Fed Rate Hold

Markets found their footing Wednesday after the Fed decided to leave interest rates unchanged at 5.25 percent, which pushed the onward and upward crowd to the front of the class again.

The Dow Industrials gained 53.80 to close at 13,362.87. The Nasdaq gained 4.59 to end the session at 2,576.34.

In what was largely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee said it would keep its target for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 percent by putting its inflation concern in context.

"Economic growth slowed in the first part of this year and the adjustment in the housing sector is ongoing. Nevertheless, the economy seems likely to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters."

Shares of IBM  gained $1.09 to close at $104.38 after a Goldman Sachs analyst upgraded the company's rating.

Shares of Cisco got no love from investors a day after beating earnings estimates by a penny at 34 cents. Shares slipped by 6.52 percent to $26.51 during regular trading. Yesterday, investors sent the stock down by 3 percent in after-hours trading after its earnings results of 34 cents a share, on sales that rose by 21 percent to $8.9 billion.

Its guidance of $9.2-$9.3 billion -- still double-digit, but around 15 percent instead of 20 percent expected, had investors ornery.

Borland Software  was ticking downward slightly in after-hours after closing up by 3 cents to $5.52. The software maker reported a first quarter net loss of $9.2 million on revenue of $71 million. Revenues were down slightly from about $69 million from the same quarter last year.

HP  tried to build on its gains from yesterday after raising guidance but didn't get far; Reuters quoted an HP executive in the company's Asia-Pacific group today who said shipments in personal systems are growing at around double the 18 percent rate for the region’s overall PC market. Shares closed at $44.93, down by about 8 cents. The company will report full results May 16.

Updates earlier version to include IBM's closing price.