FOMC minutes show that policy makers are as confident as the financial markets that the recession has bottomed. But policy makers do worry that the consumer is weak and so have kept their rate policy and asset-purchase policy on hold. Data included a worse-than-expected jobs forecast from ADP, one that got the stock market off to a slow start. The S&P slipped 0.3 percent on the day to end at 994.75.
Gold was the big mover of the day, up nearly $25 to $980 in a major breakout from two months of narrow trading centered at $950. Middle East accounts were behind the gain, buying ahead of seasonal jewelry demand there and in Asia. Silver rose with gold, ending at $15.40 for a 70 cent gain, but other commodities, including copper and oil, were little changed.