Solar Stocks Surge and Bernanke Launches QE4: Market Recap

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The markets were mixed Wednesday on Wall Street. After an initial rally, equities fell in late-afternoon trading despite the best efforts of the Federal Reserve, which concluded its last meeting of the year.

At the close: DIJA: -0.02%, S&P 500: +0.04%, Nasdaq: -0.28%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed 1.15 percent to $86.78 per barrel. Precious metals were also up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing 0.19 percent to $1,712.80 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) climbing 1.49 percent to $33.51 per ounce about 1 minute after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Thursday’s top stock stories:

Shares of Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE:MCP), a development-stage producer of rare-earth products, closed down 3 percent after CEO Mark Smith’s unexpected departure. The company is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its financial disclosures and is dealing with a lawsuit related to engineering problems at a mine.

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Solar Stocks Surge: Solar stocks took off like a rocket on Wednesday afternoon following news that Chinese officials would spend at least $2.1 billion to support the struggling industry. The Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSE:KWT) closed up 6.34 percent, while the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN) closed up 8.62… (Read more.)

Federal Reserve Launches QE4! On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve concluded its two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Despite launching a third round of quantitative easing known as QE-infinity in September, the central bank launched QE4… (Read more.)

Will This Compromise Satisfy Germany? While many of the European Union’s 27 countries support the European Central Bank’s proposed banking union, Germany and Great Britain have had reservations. But as Reuters reported on Wednesday, Germany has indicated that it is ready to back the ECB as the chief supervisor of banks, which is an important step towards implementing the policy, as all members of the EU must approve the union for the project to progress… (Read more.)

An Economic Weathervane for Consumers: It’s that time of year again, when American consumers enter the liminal zone between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with too little left to spend and too much left to buy. At least, that’s the traditional scenario for the first few weeks of December. But consumers this year are uniquely burdened… (Read more.)

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