Stocks post solid gains Tuesday

June 18, 2013 at 7:45 PM
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NEW YORK, June 18 (UPI) -- U.S. markets churned higher Tuesday after the Commerce Department said price inflation remained muted in May.

The report by itself had negligible effect. But every report of late has been held up to the light to see how it might affect the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement expected Wednesday.

Low inflation means the economy is not overheating. In turn, some investors have concluded the Fed doesn't have cause to pull back on its $85 billion per month quantitative easing program.

"You can bet your last dollar, [Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke] is going to try to assure the markets that the Federal Reserve is not going to taper anytime soon," Hugh Johnson, chairman of Hugh Johnson Advisors, told MarketWatch.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 138.38 points or 0.91 percent to reach 15,318.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 12.77 points or 0.78 percent to close at 1,651.81. The Nasdaq composite added 30.05 points or 0.87 percent to end the day at 3,482.18.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,102 issues advanced and 986 declined on volume of 3.1 billion shares.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index, shed 0.2 percent or 25.84 points to 13,007.28. Britain's FTSE 100 index added 0.69 percent or 43.72 points to 6,374.21.

The 10-year treasury note fell 1/32 to yield 2.19 percent.

Crude oil prices in electronic trading reached $98.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold dropped $15.20 to reach $1,367.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

On currency markets, the euro rose to $1.3391. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 95.33 yen.

On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for July delivery added 4 1/4 cents to hit $6.72 3/4 per bushel while soybeans added 2 cents to close at $15.87 1/2 and wheat added 6 1/2 cents to finish at $6.87.

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