The highly anticipated policy-setting decision of the Federal Open Market Committee has hit the Street, and the central bank has decided to cut its lending rate by 50 basis points to 4.75%. The move was hoped for by many investors, though only a 25 basis-point cut was widely expected. It's the first time the central bank has cut its federal funds rate since June 2003. The Fed, which has erred on the hawkish side, noted that inflation concerns remain but today's rate cut was necessary to forestall some of the adverse effects on the broad economy that might otherwise arise from the disruptions in financial markets and to promote moderate growth over time.
After tacking on minor gains this morning and into the afternoon, all our broad-market indices posted serious gains after the Fed announcement. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA 13,587) is up 184 points, the S&P 500 Index (SPX 1,501) has risen 24 points, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP 2,621) has added 39 points sending all 3 indices past prior technical resistance levels.