Top stock market news today, April 3, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 40.39 points yesterday to finish at 16,573.00. The Nasdaq increased 8.42 points, finishing at 4,276.46, while the S&P 500 climbed 5.38 points to finish at 1,890.90. The S&P 500 touched another record yesterday on positive economic data. February factory orders increased, while private-sector hiring in March increased to its fastest rate in three months.
Stock futures were up this morning, following news that China will likely increase stimulus efforts in the coming months in order to support its 7.5% targeted growth rate.
Five Biggest Stories in the Top Stock Market News Today, April 3, 2014
- Money in Politics: Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to remove caps on donations by individuals to political parties, candidates, and interest groups. The controversial decision preserved a $5,200 limit on donations from U.S. citizens to any single Representative, Senator, or presidency during a campaign cycle. That individual donor cap had been $123,200 previously. The ruling chips away at the campaign finance rules that followed the court's controversial Citizens United decision back in 2010.
- When Will Interest Rates Rise: San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said the central bank should begin raising interest rates in the second half of 2014. He noted, however, that the move should be done in smaller increments to keep borrowing costs down below normal through 2017. Said Williams: "Given the economic outlook, and given also my view that we need accommodative policy relative to historical norms, we need to have relatively low levels of interest rates for quite some time. My own view is it makes sense to start raising rates in the second half of 2015." Williams believes the rate should be within the 2% to 3% range through 2016.