Markets Reach New Highs on Fed Support
The S&P 500 added 1.2% to 1,587.73, shattering its intraday record of 1,576.09 set in October 2007. Technology and financial sectors spearheaded the gains.
In Washington, President Obama unveiled on Wednesday his $3.77 trillion budget for 2014, which he said would reduce deficits and strengthen the economy.
The president's newly revealed 10-year budget blueprint included about $46.5 trillion in spending and $800 billion in new taxes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average move higher by 0.9% to 14,802.24 while the
Nasdaq was up 1.8% to 3,297.25.
"First quarter earnings will test the resiliency of the stock market that reached an all-time high at the end of March. The big question is: will profit margins continue to rise," Mark Kravietz, managing director and partner of HighTower's Melville, New York-based MK Wealth Management said in an email. "There is a possibility that technology and healthcare can have earnings surprises on the upside."
The March Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes were released at 9 a.m. EDT instead of 2 p.m. after they were reportedly unintentionally released to some people.
The minutes showed that "all but a few" policymakers argued it would be appropriate for the Committee to continue its $85 billion a month bond-buying program at least through mid-year as the FOMC still holds to the position that the benefits of keeping the balance sheet as broad as possible outweighs the costs.
International markets were broadly higher as China's imports grew 14.1% in March, much more than the 5.2% growth expected by economists and against a drop of 15.2% in February, calming worries about Chinese demand. In Japan, excitement over aggressive easing measures persisted. A successful Italian bond auction was also bolstering investor confidence.