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Dow: 17,685.73, -2.09, -0.01%
S&P 500: 2,048.72, -3.08, -0.15%
Nasdaq: 4,675.71, -26.73, -0.57%
What Moved the Markets Today: The FOMC said it might remove the words "considerable time" when planning its schedule for a rate increase. The central bank is concerned about inflation rates remaining below 2% "for quite some time." The United States is going in a much different direction on monetary policy than other economies like the Eurozone, Japan, and China, which are all increasing stimulus measures. That divergence has added fuel to a strengthening U.S. dollar and declining gold, silver, and oil prices. It's also encouraged an influx of foreign capital into U.S. markets.
[Note: Don't let FOMC meeting minutes cloud your investment decisions – here's how to invest without the distraction of Fed noise.]
Housing starts slipped 2.8% in October, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Housing start growth has remained volatile since the beginning of the summer. Still, building permits, which are a forward indicator of future construction, hit their highest monthly level in six years.
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Retailer Rally: Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) hit a 52-week high after the company beat third-quarter profit estimates on strong back-to-school and Halloween sales. The stock rose more than 7%. Target is currently in the middle of a turnaround, led by its new CEO. Despite the optimism, the nation's no. 2 retailer said that it expects much higher holiday shipping costs to increased fourth-quarter expenses, which could affect margins. The company provides free shipping to online customers with no sales minimum.
- Building Profits: Shares of Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) rose more than 6% to hit a 52-week high. The home-improvement retailer raised its full-year sales growth outlook up to a range of 4.5% to 5% this morning. The firm said that its net sales from the same period in 2013 increased by 5.6%. During its conference call, the company iterated increased confidence in the U.S. housing markets as homeowners increase renovation expenditures.
- That Was Easy: Shares of Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) rose more than 9% after the company beat Wall Street third-quarter estimates by a penny. Staples also beat revenue estimates by $30 million.
- Acquisition Frenzy: Shares of Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK), a global tech company engaged in optimal networking, surged nearly 14% on news that it would be purchased by Koch Industries. The second-largest private North American company, owned by the politically engaged Koch Brothers, will purchase Oplink for $445 million.
- Taking Off: Shares of JetBlue Airways Corp. (Nasdaq: JBLU) jumped more than 4% on news that the company plans to charge baggage fees for certain customers. According to reports, the airline company will create three separate classes of tickets in the first six months of 2015. The company – which remained one of the last airlines to not charge for checked bags – said only the top two tiers of customers will receive their first checked bag for free in the future. The company expects an annual $200 million in operating income due to the policy change.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:
- This Play Could Double Again – But There's Much More to It: Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald's recent small-cap stock pick has already doubled. And this human augmentation company is still a great buy – especially if you understand how to use Keith's favorite trading tactic. Here's how to put the power of the "free trade" to work for you to collect even bigger gains.
- How We'll Play the 2014 Year-End Rally: Stocks are headed higher through year end for many reasons, but one in particular is telling. It's really simple, yet too many people have overlooked it. Indeed, most wouldn't even give it enough thought. And that would be a big mistake… As Money Morning's Shah Gilani explains, if you understand that one compelling reason, you can pick some winners – and pocket big profits – yourself.
- How Google Will Dominate the Future: Today tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson reveals why Google is such an intriguing tech investment with enormous upside. This industry leader has somehow combined Warren Buffett's business genius with the futurist brain of Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering. And there's nothing but profit ahead for investors…