NEW YORK — The Federal Reserve spoke — and financial markets swung wildly before rallying.
The Dow closed up more than 400 points today after the Fed’s statement was released.
But stocks first sank after the Fed said that economic growth this year has been “considerably slower” than it expected and that it will keep interest rates near their record low of almost zero until at least the middle of 2013. But then they shot back up.
The 10-year Treasury note rose sharply within minutes, sending its yield down to 2.1 percent, a low for the year. It had reached a low of 2.34 percent on Monday. A bond’s yield drops when its price rises. Gold, considered a safe haven when other investments are tumultuous, rose again to $1,773.60 per ounce, up from its $1,713.20 closing price on Monday.
The Fed said that it expects “a somewhat slower pace of recovery over coming quarters.” It also said that temporary factors, such as the high price of gasoline this spring and Japan’s March earthquake and tsunami, were only part of the reason for the weaker economy.
The Fed statement didn’t give investors any new information, said Peter Coleman, head of equity research at investment bank JMP Securities. He said investors might have liked to hear something more positive “but the data, with the exception of one okay jobs report, has been pretty consistently negative the last few weeks.”
“The market is already pricing in” low rates for the long term, said Alan Ruskin, an analyst with Deutsche Bank. He said reassurance that rates would stay low until mid-2013 was unlikely to provide much of a boost in the near term.
The Dow ended the day up 429.62 points, or 3.97 percent, to 11,239.47.
The Nasdaq index was up 124.83 points, or 5.29 percent, to 2,482.52.
The S&P 500 ended up 53.07 points, or 4.74 percent, to 1,172.53.