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The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped triple digits after no surprises emerged from the U.S. Federal Reserve's April meeting minutes. Here are today's closing numbers:
DOW: 16,533.06, +158.75 points
S&P 500: 1,888.03, +15.2 points
NASDAQ: 4,131.54, 34.65 points
Now here are the top stories from today's trading session:
- When Will Rates Rise: According to the minutes of the April 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the central bank is studying when it will increase interest rates in the wake of an improving job market. This marks the first time that the central bank publically appeared ready to transition back to market normalization. The Fed will likely announce another round of cuts to its bond-purchasing program after its next meeting in June. The minutes also mentioned known concerns about the housing market, China's growth challenges, and problems between Ukraine and Russia.
- Cyber Backlash: Just days after China condemned the arrest of several of its military by the United States on cyber espionage charges, the nation banned Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows 8 from its government computers. China did not officially provide a reason for the decision.
- Back from the Digital Doldrums: The price of Bitcoin sustained its near-$500 price, one day after rising more than 10%. Today's price resilience was a positive test for the crypto-currency, as it sticks to its highest levels since April. Here's why Bitcoin is gearing up to provide greater stability against past volatility…
- A Global Game Changer: China and Russia officially announced their agreement on a 30-year natural gas deal that will transport fuels by pipeline from Siberia to China. The deal is a major geopolitical event and will test Russia's attempt to cut reliance on Europe for its primary customer base. A Chinese newspaper explained yesterday that Russia and China will also aim to cut out the U.S. dollar over time and attempt to trade within their own currencies.
- Iran's "Oil Show" Just Revealed a Huge Opportunity: The isolated nation recently announced the introduction of a new generation of oil contract – one that promises to be considerably friendlier to foreign partners. Companies with a long history in the Middle East are already well-positioned for the change. And, with this play, you can be the first to profit…