Investors focused on comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke who announced that the central bank will continue its existing policy of purchasing agency mortgage-backed securities and longer-term treasuries until employment conditions improve. (View complete Fed release here).
At the end of the day the markets rallied broadly, with the Nasdaq leading the charge with a gain of 0.78% to 3,254.19 and the S&P 500 following with a 0.67% gain to finish at 1,558.71. The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a record intra-day high of 14,546.82 before finishing up 0.39% at 14,511.73.
Shares of global transportation services company FedEx (NYSE:FDX) also bucked the markets’ trend, dropping nearly 7% after showing a 31% drop in Q3 earnings. The company also cut its outlook for the current quarter and full year, while adding that it might temporarily ground aircraft. Shares of rival UPS (NYSE:UPS, -1.23%) also fell on the news.
In other corporate and earnings news, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares jumped over 6% after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight” and bumped its price target to $22 per share.
General Mills (NYSE:GIS) shares gained just almost 3% after the packaged food company announced improvements in top and bottom lines for the quarter. Sector mates Kellogg (NYSE:K) and Post (NYSE:POST) both gained over 1% on the news.
Graphics software developer and distributor Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) shares rose over 4% after it exceeded earnings estimates, although earnings fell 65% from last year’s quarter.
- First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Up 5.89% ($1.64) to $29.48
- Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL): Up 5.85% ($2.02) to $36.53
- Lennar (NYSE:LEN): Up 4.78% ($1.98) to $43.40
- Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS): Down 4.46% ($2.05) to $43.88
- Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Down 3.75% (13 cents) to $3.34
- Deere (NYSE:DE): Down 3.12% ($2.83) to $87.74
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.