Stocks Surge on Fed Moves

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve opted for a third round of quantitative easing to boost the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 206.51 points, or 1.55 percent, to 13,539.86. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 23.43 points, or 1.63 percent, to 1,459.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 41.52 points, or 1.33 percent, to 3,155.83.

The Federal Reserve said it will expand its holdings of long-term securities with open-ended purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month in a third round of quantitative easing as it seeks to boost growth and reduce unemployment.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady this week, staying slightly above the lowest level on record. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.55 percent. In July, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

Gold futures ended higher on Thursday, buoyed by the announcement of additional stimulus measures in the U.S. Gold for December delivery added $38.40, or 2.2%, to settle at $1,772.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since late February and the largest one-day percentage gain since late June.

Werner Enterprises (WERN) late Thursday forecast third-quarter earnings of 33 cents to 36 cents a share. The trucking company said cost increases for driver pay, rising fuel prices and higher equipment-maintanance costs were among the factors affecting its earnings for the period.

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