Markets Shrug Off Fed's Move

11/03/2010 9:34 am EST

Focus: MARKETS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

$600 billion by June—that’s the number.

Add in the re-investment of interest and you get about $110 billion a month.

The Federal Reserve’s announcement on quantitative easing came in at around the Wall Street consensus of $100 billion a month in Fed buying (For more on what Wall Street expected, see this post.)

And as you’d expect from an announcement that met expectations, the reaction on the US stock market has been, shall we say, muted. The Standard & Poor’s 500, which opened the day at 1194, sank to 1184 (a 0.08% drop) before recovering to 1198, a 0.37% change on the day.

The reaction wasn’t much more violent on the bond and currency markets. The five- and seven- year Treasury bonds climbed in price and fell in yield—the Fed is expected to concentrate its buying in this part of the Treasury market. (In a supplementary statement, the Fed said its purchases will show an average maturity of five to six years.) Longer-dated Treasuries—the ten-year note and the 30-year bond—fell in price and climbed in yield, with the 30-year Treasury bond moving back above the 4% level.

On the news, the dollar fell against the currencies of most of its trading partners—the Canadian dollar, the euro, and the pound. Gold rallied.

This afternoon’s move—or non-move, actually—is only part of the reaction. With European and Asian markets closed by the time of the Fed’s announcement, investors in the United States won’t know what overseas markets think until those markets open again tonight (Wednesday) and Thursday morning (by US time.)

Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this post in my personal portfolio. The mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this post. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter, see the fund’s portfolio here.

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