The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer

Record-high closes for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average. The S&P 500 passed its October 11, 2007 intraday high to close at 1,587.73, a 1.22 per cent increase, having risen as high as 1,589 (Reuters).

The latest FOMC minutes came out early. Lobbyists and officials at banks including Citigroup and Goldman were accidentally sent the minutes by email on Tuesday afternoon, well before their official release on Wednesday. The minutes were released to the public at 9am on Wednesday instead of 2pm following discovery of the error. The central bank has notified the SEC and the CFTC of the lapse (Wall Street Journal).

Once out, the minutes indicated more members are willing to end QE earlier. Officials “thought that if the outlook for labor market conditions improved as anticipated, it would probably be appropriate to slow purchases later in the year and to stop them by year-end,” the minutes said (Bloomberg).

President Barack Obama sent a $3.8tn budget to Congress, including a projected $744bn deficit in 2014, and plans to tax carried interest as ordinary income (Financial Times). The budget also proposes policies to slow the growth of entitlements under Social Security and Medicare, a negotiating gambit targeted at Republicans (Wall Street Journal).

Sales of PCs tumbled 14 per cent in the first quarter. Microsoft’s new Windows 8 software took blame for making it harder to attract buyers to PCs over tablets. IDC numbers showed global PC shipments of 76.3m units in the first quarter, down 13.9 per cent on the same period in the previous year, the sharpest fall on record (Financial Times).

FURTHER FURTHER READING

- Five years of glorious CCC junk bond returns, but look out below.

- The fantasy hostile takeover business.

- Another case for Cyprexit.

- Gravity shifts in the FOMC minutes.