The Fed was steady on interest rates while U.S. stocks were flat and more in Wednesday’s Closing Bell on Money and Markets.

The Top Story

As expected the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady following its two-day policy meeting.

The Fed also tweaked its policy language giving a nod to nudge up inflation by suggesting “returning (it) to the Committee’s symmetric 2% objective.”

The concern is that low expectations will keep inflation below 2% and also keep interest rates at below-normal, limiting the ability of the Fed to make any future cuts if there is an economic downturn.

One interest rate that did change was the rate the Fed pays on central bank funds. It raised that interest rate five basis points to 1.6%.

Money and Markets: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,273 (-2 points, -0.09%)
DOW: 28,734 (+11 points, +0.04%)
NASDAQ: 9,275 (+5 points, +0.06%)
GOLD: $1,577 (+$10.20, +0.6%)
BITCOIN: $9,400 (+$294.80, +3.2%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 1.58%

*- as of 4:21 p.m. ET

A Big Win

We had a couple of big winners from this morning’s Wall Street Wake-Up. General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) had a strong earnings report, thus shares of the company rose 10.3%.

Another big winner from this morning was L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB). On the news of its founder possibly stepping down, shares of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company shot up 12.9%.

Our lead story from this morning was the strong earnings beat for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL). Shares of the tech company rose 2%.

M&A News

Penn National Gaming Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) is spending $136 million in cash and stock consideration for 36% interest in Barstool Sports.

Consolidated Aerospace Manufacturing LLC is being acquired by Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK) for $1.5 billion. CAM is a main supplier for Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA).

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Nasdaq: CMTL) is spending $533 million to acquire satellite broadband company Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: GILT).

Golden Nuggets

Russian palladium producer Norilsk Nickel is looking to release three metric tons of palladium ingots into the market, according to Kitco News.

Despite that, the price of the precious metal remains on an upward trajectory. Palladium was trading up $8 an ounce to $2,185.

Both gold and silver were up as well in Wednesday afternoon trading. Gold prices were up $10.20 an ounce to $1,577 and silver moved up $0.09 to $17.52 an ounce.

Cannabis Corner

A bill legalizing marijuana in New Mexico received a favorable vote out of a Senate committee Wednesday.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, the bill was approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee. It would also require each recreational marijuana store to offer medical cannabis to qualified customers.

Both Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) fell 1.6% and 2.2% respectively.

Stock Market Update

U.S. markets were mostly flat on Wednesday as investors continue to work out fears surrounding the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 points, or 0.04%. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.06% and the S&P 500 fell 0.09%.

In other market news, President Donald Trump signed a revised trade agreement with Mexico and Canada stating in a tweet that it “is a cutting edge state of the art agreement.”

Today’s Big Winners:

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LNB) +12.9%

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) +10.3%

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) +5.2%

Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) +2.5%

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL) +2.1%

Today’s Big Losers:

Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) -10.7%

Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) -6.9%

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD) -5.9%

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) -4.5%

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) -2.1%

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

Don’t forget about “Marijuana Markets: a POTcast,” featuring the biggest cannabis news and investment notes from Banyan Hill’s Anthony Planas, here on Money and Markets each Saturday morning.