10:40 AM New York – U.S. market indexes gained and the S&P 500 index surpassed its previous intra-day high. Fed policy members are still debating the stimulus unwinding measures according to the latest minutes of meeting. The yen declined to the lowest level since May 2009.
Stocks in New York opened higher after the Federal Reserve released its latest minute of meetings inadvertently ahead of schedule to a select group of people in Congress and trade groups.
The S&P 500 index increased 9 or 0.6% to 1,577, ahead of its previous intra-day high and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 16 or 0.5% to 3,254.
The earlier than expected release of minutes of March meeting showed that committee members are still deliberating the timeline for unwinding the central bank’s stimulus programs.
U.S. President Barack Obama proposed in his fifth budget to Congress, after two months past the February 4 deadline as divided lawmakers struggle to find a common ground.
The core of the budget proposal would change the inflation calculation for Social Security cost-of-living increases and also limit inflation adjustments to tax brackets leading to higher taxes for many Americans.
European markets traded higher after industrial production in France increased more than expected and Italy successfully placed short-term debt.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.9% or 55 to 6,368 and in Frankfurt the DAX index climbed 1.3% to 102.5 to 7,740. In Paris, CAC 40 index jumped 1.4% or 51.8 to 3,723.
French industrial output increased 0.7% in February from the previous month and the decline in January was revised to 0.8% from the original estimate of 1.2%.
Italy sold €11 billion or $14.4 billion of 3- and 12-month treasury debt at lower average yield.
Asian markets traded higher and Nikkei index in Tokyo advanced for the fifth session in a row as the yen traded at 99.66 to a dollar.
Real estate sector and banks led the gainers for the fifth month in a row after the Bank of Japan announced a plan to spend $1.4 trillion by 2014 and reflate the economy.
Separately, China reported March exports increased 10% imports gained 14.1% from a year ago resulting in a trade deficit of $880 million. Exports in February increased 21.8%.
Stocks in Review
Banks and financial services stocks traded higher after the release of Fed minutes before the market opening and showed no surprises as policy committee members debated the unwinding of stimulus.
JP Morgan Chase (JPM
) increased 1.4%, Bank of America (BAC
) gained 0.6% and Citigroup (C
) advanced 2.3%.
Health Management Associates (HMA
) plunged 15% after the hospital operator estimated sharply lower than expected earnings and revenues outlook in the first quarter.
Other hospital operators, HCA Holdings (HCA
) and Tenet Healthcare decreased more than 3%.