U.S. Stocks Rise On Fed Assessment and Options In Focus: A Straddle With A View?

The Nasdaq climbed 0.8% and again neared its 50-day moving average. Nasdaq heavyweight Apple (AAPL) edged up 1% after unveiling its highly anticipated iPad tablet.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 0.5%. It nearly touched resistance at the 1100-level. The Dow rose 0.4% and NYSE composite.

Pegasystems (PEGA) erased morning losses and ran up 7% in more than twice its average trade. The stock cleared a 36.19 buy point from a high handle. Volterra Semiconductor (VLTR) bounced back from the red and climbed 3% to a five-year high. On Monday, the chipmaker smashed views with a 278% surge in Q4 earnings.

Bottomline Technologies (EPAY) also reversed higher. It gained 6%, but closed under its 50-day moving average. The payment services firm reports earnings Thursday after the close. Analysts see profit rising 64% to 23 cents a share.

After the close, Netflix (NFLX) bolted 16% after trouncing views with a 37% jump in Q4 earnings. [Read the full article]

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As expected, the U.S. central bank left short-term interest rates low and vowed to hold them there to nurture an economic recovery, which has been held back by high unemployment.

But a dissent by Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig prompted some selling and caused the difference between short- and long-term yields to narrow.

“Hoenig didn’t think the ‘extended period’ language with regard to holding rates low was appropriate. That’s why the curve flattened,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.

Bond prices slipped after the Fed’s Open Market Committee statement. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were down 5/32 after the statement, erasing a 4/32 gain in place beforehand. Ten-year yields rose to 3.65%, up from 3.62% on Tuesday.

Two-year notes, unchanged before the statement, fell 4/32 afterward, their yields rising to 0.92% from 0.82% before the statement. [Read the full article]

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