Phew, what a day in the stock market! We finally are done with the Federal Reserve meeting, penny stocks investors made a few bucks and we are also halfway through the week. So what did the stock market do today? And what else do you need to know?
To start, it was a good day for the major indices after a choppy morning. The S&P 500 gained 0.29%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.58%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.
So what else did the stock market do today? Take a look at these three top stories.
What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Thank Powell.
We finally heard from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell today, and it seems the whole stock market breathed a sigh of relief.
Following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Powell and other officials gave some insight into the economy. Most importantly, Powell assuaged inflation concerns and also shared a brighter economic outlook. So what do you need to know?
The first piece of the puzzle is inflation and what role unprecedented monetary policies have taken in boosting prices. Today, Powell reminded investors that one of the Fed mandates is maintaining stable prices. That means a long-term rate of 2%. In the near term, inflation above that (such as 2.4% later in 2021) is not something to worry about. He says this is because it is necessary to average back out to that standard 2% level. For investors then, this serves as a reassurance and as a justification for continued accommodative policy. Investors also learned today that the Fed is planning on keeping near-zero levels at least until 2024.
The second piece of the puzzle comes from the outlook. Powell has always been quick to highlight that the U.S. economy is not in great shape amid the pandemic. However, officials today shared better projections for unemployment and inflation. Additionally, Powell said that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout as well as other safety protocols appear to be jolting the economy. He also commented on growth in several key industries like manufacturing.
Bitcoin Boom Continues Thanks to Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley gave crypto bulls something to cheer about on Wednesday.
According to a CNBC report, Morgan Stanley is now the first big U.S. bank to offer wealth management clients access to Bitcoin (CCC:BTC) funds. Through an internal memo, the bank shared with its financial advisors that it will launch access to three such funds. Two of the funds will come from Galaxy Digital, with minimum investments of $25,000 and $5 million, respectively. The third fund comes from NYDIG, which Morgan Stanley recently invested in.
Although this does not directly impact many retail investors, it could have a real impact on BTC prices and other cryptocurrencies. Over the last few months, one of the major catalysts in the crypto space has been growing mainstream support. This move from Morgan Stanley follows that path, and could lead other major banks to do the same.
That is not the only thing going for BTC today. As InvestorPlace contributor William White highlighted, one hedge fund manager is targeting $115,000 for the leading crypto by summer 2021.
Bonus crypto: Keep a close eye on Cardano (CCC:ADA). Ahead of its launch for Coinbase Pro customers tomorrow, ADA was on the move Wednesday. This growing accessibility is also boosting Cardano (ADA) price predictions.
Wall Street or the Vegas Strip?
For investors fond of speculative equities, today was a perfect day in the stock market.
To start, MoviePass owner Helios and Matheson Analytics (OTCMKTS:HMNY) saw shares move on a cryptic countdown clock. It seems the hope is that MoviePass is back from the dead, and perhaps even a source of hope for r/WallStreetBets favorite AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Unfortunately, according to the website MoviePass Ventures, it will be a few days until investors learn more.
Elsewhere on Wall Street, several penny stocks had some time in the spotlight. Biotech names like Zhongchao (NASDAQ:ZCMD) and rare earth elements play American Resources (NASDAQ:AREC) were soaring. As InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald wrote, this is likely a side effect of growing risk-on sentiment.
Lastly, there is one more speculative story to watch. Investors appear to be diving into so-called NFT stocks on a whim. Importantly, these are not companies with clear ties to non-fungible tokens. However, social media speculation suggests more explicit ties are coming. For instance, Hong Kong-based art platform Takung Art (NYSEMKT:TKAT) saw its shares gain 277% on hopes for an NFT platform.
Make sure you know your risk appetite and consider buying some heartburn medicine. You may need it in the coming days.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.