August 20, 2014
Wall Street rises after Federal Reserve minutes on 'easy money' exit
US stocks finished higher today, rebounding from a sharp two-day selloff, after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers have started to detail how the central bank will end its easy monetary policy.
The Fed indicated it will end its bond purchases in October and appeared near agreement on a plan to manage interest rates in the future, according to the minutes.
The major US stock indexes dipped immediately after the release of the minutes but quickly recovered.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78.99 points or 0.47 percent, to 16,985.61. The S&P 500 gained 9.12 points or 0.46 percent, to 1,972.83. The Nasdaq Composite added 27.57 points or 0.63 percent, to 4,419.03.
About 5.28 billion shares traded on US exchanges, slightly below the 5.79 billion average in June, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
In the meantime, Portuguese shares lagged European markets today, hit by concerns about the financial health of one of the country's largest financial groups.
Lisbon's PSI index fell 2.2 percent, led by an 11 percent fall in Espirito Santo Financial Group (ESFG), the largest shareholder of Portugal's largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo.
Business daily Diario Economico reported Portugal's Espirito Santo banking family, who control ESFG, is set to propose to creditors an extension of the maturities of the debts issued by its Luxembourg-registered holding company.
The PSI, which has risen 24 percent in the past 12 months, has underperformed other European markets since concerns surrounding Espirito Santo arose as well as after some disappointing economic data came out last month.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a 6-1/2 year high in late June, was down 0.2 percent at 1,361.08 points.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index, meanwhile, was up 0.2 percent, recovering some ground after a 1.4 percent fall in the previous session.