Interest abounds as the Federal Reserve is holding rates steady and gold interest could be lukewarm in 2020; market winners, losers and much more in today’s Closing Bell, only on Money and Markets.

Rates will hold at their current level, 1.5% to 1.75%, as the Fed broke out of its last meeting of 2019 leaving things unchanged.

The Fed also signaled it would hold rates at their present levels through 2020, as inflation remains low. The decision to maintain rates at their present levels was unanimous.

Money and Markets: Closing Bell

S&P 500: 3,141 (+9 points, +0.29%)
DOW: 27,911 (+29 points, +0.1%)
NASDAQ: 8,654 (+37 points, +0.4%)
GOLD: $1,474.70 as of 4:22 EST (+10.70, +0.7%)
BITCOIN: $7,173.58 as of 4:22 EST (-0.63%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 1.79%

Golden Nuggets

In its 2020 outlook for gold, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said interest in the precious metal will be “lukewarm,” according to Kitco News.

The bank said it was neutral on both gold and silver with price averages in 2020 to be $1,494 and $17.54 an ounce, respectively.

“Gold is lacking a catalyst that will drive prices higher in 2020,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch precious metals strategist Michael Widmer said. “It’s all about interest rates. I think we would need to see renewed dovishness in central banks to push gold marginally higher.”

He added there is little chance the U.S. economy falls into a recession during an election year.

Also Wednesday, Goldman Sachs took the opposite stance and said government spending has it betting more on gold in 2020.

Cannabis Corner

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Israeli cannabis maker OWC Pharmaceutical Research (Over-the-Counter: OWCP) $4 million, according to MarketWatch.

The government alleged one of the company’s promoters, Colorado cannabis businessman Jeffrey Friedland, misled outside investors when he was promoting the stock in 2016 and 2017. Friedland agreed to pay $4.1 million to settle the dispute with the SEC.

After tumbling Tuesday, Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) ticked up close to 1% by the end of trading.

Stock Market Update

As the Federal Reserve kept interest rates the same Wednesday, the markets responded with slight enthusiasm to finish the day in the black.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29 points, about 0.1%, to 27,911 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%. More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Closing Bell Biggest Winners:

(as of 3:15 p.m. EST)

Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS) +5%

Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) +4.1%

Western Digital (Nasdaq: WDC) +3.9%

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) +1%

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) +1.2%

Closing Bell Biggest Losers:

(as of 3:15 p.m. EST)

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) –1.8%

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) –1.1%

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) –3.1%

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) –3.2%

Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR) –2.6%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money and Markets.