The stock market has had a strange relationship with the Federal Reserve lately. Whenever the Fed says anything about even the possibility of future action to stimulate economic growth, stocks soar -- like they did this morning. Yet Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's comments that the Fed would "provide additional policy accommodation as needed" merely repeats the same message he's given for months, making any market reaction whatsoever look ridiculous. Still, investors dutifully bid up share prices in response, and the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) recovered all of its losses from yesterday before slipping a bit. The Dow was still up about 100 points just after 10:45 a.m. EDT. All 30 Dow stocks traded higher.
Intel (NAS: INTC) was the big gainer in the Dow, rising more than 2% despite ongoing concerns about weak PC demand. As Fool analyst Austin Smith discussed earlier this morning, though, Intel's biggest potential lies beyond the PC realm, as the company moves forward with plans to increase its market share in mobile devices and other high-growth areas.
Travelers (NYS: TRV) rose about half a percent. Early estimates about the damage from Hurricane Isaac suggest that the total toll could amount to around $2 billion. Even though primary insurers will carry most of the burden of the losses, analysts believe that Travelers, Allstate (NYS: ALL) , and other insurers are in good position to deal with the losses.
In other Isaac-related news, Chevron (NYS: CVX) rose more than 1% after saying that it intends to move staff back to offshore platforms starting today. Although the hurricane's presence in the Gulf stirred concerns about production hits, it appears that the impact of the storm will be minimal, which is good news both for the overall economy and for Chevron and other oil and gas producers.
Stop listening to the Fed-speak
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The article Why the Dow's Up Even After the Same Old Fed-Speak originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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