To QE or Not QE

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Stocks started off strongly and reached their peak in the first fifteen minutes of trading, going back to flat a couple of times in the day. The S&P 500 and Dow finished up marginally and the NASDAQ was up 0.32%.

Trading was muted today ahead of the FOMC’s rate decision tomorrow. The market was a little tired after all of the big news coming from Europe. The S&P 500 is up roughly 100 points since Draghi made his bumblebee speech. The vast majority of the market's moves have come on days when he's spoken publicly. He did not speak today so it is not surprising, especially after the recent fireworks to see things calm down today ahead of the Fed.

Apple was a big story today. They officially announced the launching of their iPhone 5.  This will be the thinnest, lightest, and fastest offering from Apple yet. It is a fourth generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) phone. Apple stock closed 1.82% higher on the news. 

Financial stocks again outperformed the market. Bank stocks were particularly strong. Regional banks outpaced the money center banks today after the larger banks had been leaders earlier in the week. 

Hombuilders did well today. Mortgage application data was much better than expected and there were several positive analyst calls today on the sector.

After falling out of favor a few weeks back, the telecom sector produced market beating returns again today. AT& T, Verizon and Sprint were leaders in the space.

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About Thomas J Smith CFA