Major averages closed higher yesterday on lower volume, overcoming early weakness. The Fed has ended QE3 with no signs of QE4 on the horizon as of yet. Of note is that what spurred this hard straight-off-the-bottom bounce was a Fed official's view that QE3 should be extended. Yet even though the Fed stood pat on its plan to end QE3 today, markets have still managed to continue their bounce perhaps because they anticipate the Fed has no choice but to continue QE in some form if they wish to keep rates unusually low.
Indeed, central banks around the world continue on their QE programs as their respective economies founder. Futures are currently trading up about 1.5% due to a surprise move by the Japanese central bank to accelerate the pace of their quantitative easing program. The central bank expanded the size of its Japanese Government Bond purchases to the equivalent of “about 80 trillion yen” ($727 billion) a year, an increase of ¥30 trillion from the previous pace. They are concerned about falling inflation as Japan’s inflation rate in September hit its lowest level in almost a year. They said their QE program would continue "as long as it is necessary."
Despite the lack of demand which is causing inflation to sag, yesterday's economic news seemed to confirm the Fed’s optimistic view on the economy. The first reading of third-quarter GDP came in better than expected and weekly jobless claims ticked up, however remained below the 300,000 mark which implies an improving labor market. But some of these economic reports are distorted and manipulated. The Fed most likely realizes this thus maintains its view to keep rates low as it certainly does not want to derail a very fragile economic recovery. Meanwhile, other central banks continue to print money at an accelerated pace in some cases, underscoring the fragility of the global economy.
Biotech Bluebird Bio (BLUE) had a recent pocket pivot, is still in trading range, and broke out of a double bottom base. Keep in mind this is a small cap biotech with no earnings so carries additional risk.
Former leader Baidu (BIDU) is reasserting itself as it had a pocket pivot after a strong earnings report. Earnings and sales have picked up over the last 3 quarters, pretax margin 54.6%, group rank 34.