[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market scored its third gain of at least 1% in four sessions and settled above its 50-day moving average for the first time in more than a month as market participants pushed the major averages higher ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated FOMC policy statement and press conference with Fed Chairman Bernanke.
Amid persistent macro headwinds that have made for sluggish economic growth and precarious conditions across the eurozone there has been growing anticipation for some sort of additional stimulus measure to be unveiled by the FOMC tomorrow. Such a notion dropped the dollar by about 0.7% against a basket of major foreign currencies, although most of that came as the euro traded higher following a modest reduction in Spain's debt yields.
Defensive-oriented stocks were lackluster throughout the session. Most favor was given to Financials, which collectively climbed 1.7%. JPMorgan Chase (JPM 35.38, +0.76) CEO Jamie Dimon was back on Capital Hill to give a testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, but nothing was stated that deviated from comments made to the Senate Banking Committee last week.
There was only a dearth of other corporate announcements today. FedEx (FDX 91.01, +2.50) shares fell at the open of trade, but were quick to rally out of the red. The company posted an upside earnings surprise, but issued downside guidance. Oracle (ORCL 27.96, +0.84) had an in-line outlook on better-than-expected earnings.
Advancing Sectors: Materials +2.0%, Financials +1.7%, Energy +1.4%, Industrials +1.2%, Tech +1.0%, Health Care +1.0%, Consumer Discretionary +0.9%
Declining Sectors: Consumer Staples -0.1%, Utilities -0.2%, Telecom -0.2%
..Nasdaq 100 +1.1%.
..S&P Midcap 400 +1.1%.
..Russell 2000 +1.8%.