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Here's a look at today's scorecard:
DJIA: 16,974.31, -31.44 (-0.18%)
S&P 500: 1,982.30, -2.75 (-0.14%)
Nasdaq: 4,549.23, -15.07 (-0.33%)
The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX), the market's fear gage, jumped nearly 8.5% on the day.
What moved the markets: The markets ticked downward on news that the Federal Reserve will end its bond-purchasing program, QE3. In a statement, the central bank said it achieved its goals and said the labor market has substantially improved since QE began. Fed chair Janet Yellen will speak tomorrow at 9 a.m. (ET).
Most notable economic news: The FOMC released the statement at 2:30 p.m. after a two-day meeting. The Fed said it sees "sufficient underlying strength" in the economy. The central bank stuck to its plan to keep interest rates low for a "considerable" time. Many economists anticipate an upward tick in rates by mid-2015. The good news for investors is there are stocks that provide reliable profit streams and share appreciation opportunities no matter what the Fed does next year. In fact, today's DJIA reaction to the Fed is a perfect example of why this stock is a great buy now.
Now for today's other top stories and related investing moves to make:
- Today's Main Profit Play: Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) slipped by more than 6% today as the company continues to reel after a lackluster growth forecast and its announced plans for significant investment in 2015. Despite all the negative press this morning, our Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani – who recommended the stock when it was just $20 a share in late 2012 – says that Facebook is definitely presenting a buy opportunity right now. Here's more on why Facebook is a buy.
- Alibaba Hits Another Record: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) has surpassed American retail giant Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) in size by market capitalization. Alibaba is now inside the Top 10 largest publicly traded companies in the world, surpassing drug giant Novartis AG (NYSE ADR: NVS) as well. Alibaba recently hit $100 per share, and our Bill Patalon recommended the stock long before its IPO. In fact, Bill says Alibaba's jump into triple digits is just the start of something special for investors.
- What Happens to Your Stock After a Rocket Explodes: Shares of Orbital Sciences Corp. (NYSE: ORB) and Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) both slumped after the unmanned rocket Antares exploded after takeoff on Tuesday night. Orbital stock fell by nearly 17%, while Alliant shares dipped by more than 6.5%. Orbital is currently merging with Alliant's aerospace division in an effort to boost privatization of cargo transport into space. The rocket was the third of eight launches planned by Orbital to supply the International Space Station. For investors, the strongest space-related stocks are these companies.
- Peltz at It Again: Shares of EI du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) slipped 1.2% this afternoon on news that the company is aiming to avoid a spin-off of its performance chemical business. The company has been under pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz to break off the unit. However, the company argues there are "competitive advantages" to remain intact, particularly its capital structure as it attempts to grow certain divisions. Investors – did you know Nelson Peltz is one of the most successful activist investors? Check out what a Peltz-sized return looks like…
- Change in Command: Shares of French pharmaceutical marker Sanofi SA (NYSE ADR: SNY) slipped by nearly 6% on news it has fired its Chief Executive Officer Christopher Viehbacher after its poor quarterly results. According to reports, the company's chairman Serge Weinberg engaged in a heated exchange with Viehbacher over the CEO's management style and poor communication with the board.
- A Tech Game Changer: The integration of mobile devices and human appetite continue to merge. While companies like GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB) have surged thanks to technology, now fast food companies are adopting new tech enhancements. Yesterday, Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), introduced a new mobile app designed to let customers order ahead of arrival. This comes as its rival McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is also on the verge of using mobile to fill orders and provide special promotions.