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What Fed Move Means for Investors

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will extend its bond-buying program, Operation Twist, through the end of the year – a move experts say could have far-reaching implications for investors.

Getty Images

Citing slower household spending, weaker job growth and lower inflation, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank would continue the program, started last August, which involves selling shorter-dated bonds that mature in less than three years and using the proceeds to buy longer-dated Treasury bonds. In the first round of the program, which was scheduled to end this month, the Fed sold $400  billion of short-term bonds; it will sell another $267 billion in bonds this time around.

Experts say the strategy, which is meant to encourage more borrowing by lowering long-term rates, could have a ripple effect across the markets, affecting everything from bonds to stocks – even gold. In the short term, quantitative easing programs tend to boost investor confidence, leading to a rally in stocks. Longer-term, experts say the program could lower bond yields for corporate bonds and Treasurys. “There are a lot of areas that their policy tends to impact,” says Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist for Wells Fargo Funds Management.

To be sure, the Fed has swayed markets less and less with each round of quantitative easing, analysts say, meaning the effects of this program could be muted. For instance, while Treasury yields rose following the announcement of QE1, QE2 and Operation Twist, the increase diminished with each round, says Anthony Valeri, a fixed income strategist for LPL Financial. Some other forces, like investors’ concerns over the European debt crisis, may have a larger impact on bond and stock markets, advisers say.

That said, experts say investors should expect some market movements. Here are a few of the likely consequences for investors, and  the strategies experts say may be warranted.

Stocks

Equity markets tend to rally during periods of quantitative easing, but the boost may be short-lived, says George Kiraly, an adviser with LodeStar Advisory Group in Short Hills, N.J.  That’s especially the case if investors believe the Fed’s efforts aren’t enough to substantially help the economy, he says. Indeed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 90 points immediately following today’s announcement but bounced back in afternoon trading.

Gold

Precious metals like gold tend to pop following quantitative easing from the Fed since bond-buying programs can lead to higher inflation expectations. But advisers say investors hoping to take advantage of this potential boost should tread carefully. Kiraly only recommends buying gold if it tops $1,640 an ounce. Because gold has been trading in a range between $1,500 and $1,640 an ounce (today it’s near $1,620), if it breaks above that range, it could be a sign of upward momentum for the yellow metal, he says.

High yield bonds

Unlike Treasurys, stocks and gold, high-yield bonds don’t normally get an immediate boost when the Fed starts a bond-purchasing program. Corporate bond yields actually increased – and prices dropped– following the start of QE2 and Operation Twist, a sign that investors viewed the bonds as riskier, says Valeri. But over the intermediate to long term, those corporate bond yields came down after QE1, QE2 and QE3 as investors gained confidence in the economy and became more comfortable taking on risk and prices rose.

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    • Morning bumz. An inch of snow here, on top of half an inch of ice. Schools closed. Texteen put on his snow gear and went to the taco stand. Brought back bkaerfast. He’s now snowboarding at the middle school hill with a bunch of friends and makeshift snowboards (sneakers taped to stripped skateboard decks).

    • hi Khan, first a Kudos on what you’re doing! Second, please exolpre our page here on youtube: SimplyPennies there’s too much disinformation in the world of penny stocks; and, it’s our goal at Simply Pennies to move the fulcrum in favor of the investors. We have a daily market recap show for the world of penny stocks. Will launch on Nov 1, 2010 Thanks!

    • It’s not only a fact but obvious to anyone with brains that the FED’s mandate is to devalue the dollar each year just as they have done the past 100 years. The FED should be tried for treason for currency devaluation and fraud on the taxpayer in my opinion.

    • I think you will see that prudent investors are absolutely sick and tired of continued FED intervention. Investors are sickened at FED jawboning and the promotion of risk and consumption to people who can’t afford more consumption. The FED got us in this mess and they are idiots for thinking they can get us out!

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Markets »

127.27MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 114.07M
Unchanged
226
Decliners
4346
Advancers
2012
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,102 -272 1.66%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,684 -50 1.05%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,921 -30 1.53%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,282 -41 1.77%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,122 -2 0.20%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 45.77 -0.98 2.10%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,043 -151 2.44%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,038 -280 2.71%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,523 -131 2.81%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,473 -705 3.18%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 9,822 -221 2.20%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 353 -9 2.52%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,684 -29 1.06%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 17,792 -390 2.15%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 20,841 -94 0.45%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,160 -6 0.20%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 25,202 -563 2.18%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,864 -43 1.47%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.12 +0.00 0.26%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 119.01 -1.06 0.88%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.52 -0.01 0.58%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.69 -0.01 1.50%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.22 -0.18 0.19%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.96 +0.15 0.17%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.13 -0.03 1.47%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.67 -0.05 7.51%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.88 -0.04 2.06%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.08 -0.03 1.41%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.72 -0.08 4.31%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.37 -0.03 6.87%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 46 -1 2.10%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,122 -2 0.20%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 363 +1 0.28%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,090 -258 1.58%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,918 -28 1.44%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 0 1.07%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 88.26 0.11 0.12%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 109.27 -1.10 -1.00%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 600.70 -5.55 -0.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 15.65 -0.29 -1.82%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 50.59 -1.20 -2.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.56 -0.28 -2.02%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 32.56 -0.48 -1.45%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 30.70 -1.71 -5.28%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.00 -0.51 -2.08%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.4%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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