Major averages were up on lower volume. The Fed's minutes were released yesterday, resulting in mixed action for the market. Futures, however, jacked higher after-hours when Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, during the Q&A portion of a speech, said that the Federal Reserve will not be in a hurry to raise short-term interest rates, even after the unemployment rate falls to the central bank’s threshold of 6.5%. “There will not be an automatic increase in interest rate when unemployment hits 6.5%,” Bernanke said during the Q&A session. Given the weakness of the labor market and the global economy in general as well as low inflation “it may be well sometime after we hit 6.5% before rates reach any significant level,” Bernanke added.
About half of the Fed's 19 senior officials said they would support ending the central bank’s monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds by year-end. The meeting minutes showed that “many” other members said asset purchases would likely be needed into 2014, probably due to the questionable recovery in worldwide economies. No unified view on when to slow quantitative easing was observed among officials which seemed to pacify investors.
Shortly after the open yesterday, the Market Direction Model went to a buy and the UVXY VIX volatility model went to a sell. Aftermarket trading saw the NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 futures both up nearly 1%, and the futures remain at these levels at the time of this writing.