GDP Rose 2.8 Percent in Fourth Quarter


Earnings season showed strength in the tech sector, with Apple Inc. reporting record earnings in its first quarter which ended Dec. 31. The financial sector took a beating in some areas, with the largest investment banks reporting lower bonuses for their employees. JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the country, and Morgan Stanley reported lower earnings.

Instability in the U.S. economy is expected to continue.

The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said it "expects economic growth over coming quarters to be modest and consequently anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only gradually."

On Wednesday, the committee announced it is keeping the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 1/4 percent, which has remained at a record low since the financial crisis began in 2008. The committee said economic conditions "are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014."

Stocks staged a sharp intra-day turnaround after the Federal Reserve provided another dose of accommodation by pushing out its rate hike timetable and signaling QE3, or quantitative easing monetary stimulus, may be in the cards, Fantozzi said.

"With four new members on the FOMC, Bernanke will have less push back if there is any extended downturn in the economy," he said.

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