WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013....
Stocks rallied to finish near session highs Tuesday, with the Dow soaring nearly 150 points, as members of the Federal Reserve kicked off their two-day meeting to discuss the future of the central bank's bond-buying program.
"All eyes are on the Fed," said John Fox, co-manager of the FAM Value Fund. "Economic news has been fine and continues the trend that we've been on, but tomorrow's going to have much bigger impact on what happens this week…but with inflation low and the job picture not satisfactory yet, I don't see a reason for the Fed to change anything."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied more than 100 points, adding to its triple-digit gain from the previous session. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also finished near highs. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closedbelow 17. All key S&P sectors were in positive territory, led by industrials and telecoms.
Among techs, Dell rose after billionaire investor Carl Icahn sent a letter to Dell holders proposing the tech giant commence a tender offer for 1.1 billion shares at $14 a share. Icahn also announced a purchase of 72 million Dell shares from Southeastern Asset Management.
Hewlett-Packard climbed to hit a new 52-week high after the tech company said that Todd Bradley, the head of its largest unit, printing and personal computers, will move to a new role heading up HP's Strategic Growth Initiatives.
Sony rallied after U.S. hedge fund Third Point raised its stake in the Japanese electronics giant to 70 million shares. Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb also urged Sony to spin-off its entertainment division, and offered to sit on Sony's Board of Directors.
On the economic front, housing starts rose 6.8 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 units, according to the Commerce Department, missing expectations for a 950,000-unit rate. Meanwhile, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in May, according to the Labor Department. Consumer prices outside of food and energy rose 0.2 percent last month, just above the pace clocked in April.