The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have set new intraday highs today, climbing 0.85% and 1.07%, respectively, with 40 minutes left in trading. Today's rally was driven by the release of minutes from the Fed's last meeting, which indicated that bond purchases won't end anytime soon. There had been concerns that the Fed's bond-buying program would be curtailed this year and perhaps even end by 2014, but those worries have faded following last week's disappointing jobs report and the release of FOMC minutes today.
Intel is among the Dow's leading stocks, jumping 2.6% to continue this week's steady rise. Intel introduced a faster Thunderbolt design that can transfer data at 20 Gbs, and it was also named a chip supplier for HP's new Moonshot servers. There were concerns that Moonshot servers would be powered by an ARM-designed chip, but Intel was front and center at the product launch. The company's Atom Processor S1260 is the first chip offered in the new servers -- a huge win, because the chip is designed for mobile PC use as well. Could this lead to more wins in both the server and mobile markets for Intel? For now, the momentum is on Intel's side, and investors are hoping for the best.
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Only four of the 30 Dow components are in the red today, including Travelers , which has slipped 0.5%. In a letter to shareholders, CEO Jay Fishman said the company had "no excuses" for weak performance and wouldn't be blaming natural disasters and low bond yields. He pointed to raising rates as one way to increase profits, which could be great for shareholders -- though it could push customers to competitors. For now, investors are focusing on the downside potential.
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