Up, Up & Away

Stocks Close at Record High

Undaunted by the Fed’s disclosure that it will cut back stimulus measures next month, investors boosted the stock market to a record close on Wednesday. The Dow finished near 16168 and the S&P ended at 1811, each up about two percent. Market watchers had expected that any tapering of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program—which artificially gooses the economy by pumping money into the system—would send indexes downward, but the proposed tapering appears to be cautious enough to avoid creating any panic, and Fed chief Ben Bernanke was careful to highlight the improving outlook of the labor market in announcing the decision.