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  • Market leaders seen taking S&P 500 to 2,000
    Reaching it ahead of schedule is the latest affirmation that stocks are widely preferred to bonds, even with further upside seen as limited as the Federal Reserve remains on track to end its bond-buying stimulus program in October.. The level has more psychological than fundamental significance, and it could prompt market participants to consider whether their holdings have become stretched. The "2,000 (level) has no fundamental significance outside of suggesting that stocks are fully valued and getting more so all the time," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston. Both defensive and cyclical stocks have led at times, but traders expect technology and healthcare names, the market's current leaders, to drive it over 2,000.
  • Fed's Yellen calls for caution on rates; Draghi says ECB ready to act
    The Federal Reserve should move cautiously in deciding when to raise interest rates given the U.S. In a speech at the Fed's annual central bank conference, Yellen laid out in detail why she feels the unemployment rate alone is inadequate to evaluate the strength of the jobs market and why the central bank needs to step gingerly. Her remarks were followed by a speech by the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, who said the ECB was ready to use all the tools at its disposal to lift euro zone inflation if it continued to drop.
  • Goldman Sachs, U.S. agency in mortgage settlement worth $1.2 billion
    Under the settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator for the two government-controlled mortgage finance companies, Goldman Sachs said it agreed to pay $3.15 billion to repurchase mortgage-backed securities from Fannie and Freddie. The FHFA, which valued the settlement at $1.2 billion, said the accord "effectively makes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac whole on their investments in the securities at issue."

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