The markets are moving higher today ahead of the FOMC Policy Statement tomorrow. This release will be done in a new format which is sure to help the Federal Reserve maintain more control of the markets. First, at 12:30pm ET, they will release their interest rate policy. Then at 2:15pm ET, Ben Bernanke will release some more comments and hold a conference call. Spacing the Federal Reserve Policy Statement out like this enables the Federal Reserve to see the direction of the markets and adjust their statements accordingly. Ahead of the release, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) is trading at a new 52 week high at $134.72, +1.08 (+0.81%). The markets have realized at this point, Ben Bernanke will not do anything negative to hurt the recovery. He has been a friend of the markets and believes higher markets give people confidence to spend more.
The Dollar has fallen slightly as well, helping the markets move higher. The little bit of weakness in the Dollar has helped oil move higher. As oil moves higher, commodity stocks jumped. Key components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average like Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) are higher by approximately one percent.
3M Company (NYSE:MMM) reported earnings and the market cheered. MMM is another component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is carrying the market higher. The stock is trading at $95.87, +1.75 (+1.86%).
Lastly, major Dow component International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced a quarterly dividend hike of 15% this morning. The stock surged from being flat to $168.79, +1.12 (+0.67%). Earnings, dividend hikes, a weak Dollar and the Federal Reserve FOMC Policy Statement tomorrow are all making for a solid up day in the markets.