Fed surprises: Many investors had expected the Fed to announce Wednesday that it was finally ready to begin cutting back -- or taper -- its stimulus measures.
The improving economy and falling unemployment rate was expected to be enough of a catalyst for the Fed to ease its so-called quantitative easing. The Fed has been buying $85 billion in Treasury bonds and other securities a month.
What housing starts? Investors received one disappointing reading on the health of the economy before the Fed meeting though. The Census Bureau's monthly reports on housing starts and building permits came in below expectations.
Trulia CEO: We're not Zillow
But corporate news was better. FedEx(FDX) reported an increase in quarterly sales and net income, compared to a year-ago. Earnings topped forecasts and shares rose on the news.
FedEx gives a blah reading on the economy: Despite a relatively rosy quarter, FedEx, which is often viewed as an economic bellwether because of its global footprint, gave investors an iffy assessment on the economy.
While the stock popped on earnings, some traders were wary of FedEx's longer-term trajectory.
dachria:$FDX Cost cutting as usual helps the bottom line but for how long
retail_guru:For 'tepid' economic growth as Fedex puts it, $FDX US daily volume (inc Express + Ground) +10%. That's pretty good in any book or any macro
Soccer club Manchester United(MANU) reported a jump in quarterly revenue, compared to the prior year, and a surge in net profit, compared to a loss last year. Its stock closed up more than 2%.
Adobe Systems(ADBE) shares hit all-time highs after the software maker reported strong subscription growth for its "Creative Cloud" service on Tuesday.
flounder:$ADBE New pricing model is absolutely amazing. Never could justify high price of Photoshop to buy but can certainly run with monthly subsc Bullish
Priceline hits 4 digits: The online travel company's stock surged after the Fed announcement and briefly topped $1000. Priceline(PCLN) closed at $995.09. It's only a psychological milestone. But some investors thought that Apple(AAPL) (before it began its big pullback late last year) or Google(GOOG) would win the race to $1,000 a share. Priceline is the first stock in the S&P 500 to ever top $1,000.