Thursday, September 29, 2016
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Market Digest Online THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016: U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors digested commentary from several key Federal Reserve officials while an OPEC meeting overseas concluded.

"The market will move on the deal but I think the expectations is that it will sort of go away," said Quincy Krosby, investment strategist at Prudential Financial and former U.S. energy attaché. "Remember, they all agree that oil prices need to go higher."

Reuters reported that OPEC had reached a deal to limit production in November. U.S. crude settled 5.33 percent higher at $47.05 per barrel on the heels of the news. Earlier, U.S. oil had traded lower after a build in gasoline stockpiles offset a draw in crude inventories. "Any kind of cut is being taken as big news because it gives a bit of a floor to oil prices at around $44," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

The market also contended with a number of Fed speeches and commentary. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee that U.S. banks are well capitalized, but remain challenged by weak interest income. She later said the central bank does not have a "fixed timetable" for raising rates.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said in a speech the U.S. central bank would keep interest rates low for longer because even with jobs being created at a "pretty healthy clip" low rates are not creating inflationary pressures. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also spoke, but did not comment on monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 111 points to 18,339, with ExxonMobil the top advancer and Nike the biggest decliner. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,171, with energy leading seven sectors higher and telecommunications lagging. The Nasdaq advanced 12 points to 5,318. About three stocks advanced for every decliner at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 610 million and a composite volume of 2.999 billion in afternoon trade ET.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 13.2. Gold futures for December delivery settled $6.70 lower at $1,323.70 per ounce.

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