Dow Jones Industrial Average
The KBW Bank Index (BKX) rose 0.3 to close at 64.46, with all but four index components ending with gains.Investors were looking ahead to two key economic reports. The Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday is expected by economists to report estimated third-quarter annualized growth of 2% for the U.S. gross domestic product, declining from a growth rate of 2.5% the previous quarter. Economists on average expect the U.S. unemployment rate for October to come in at 7.3% on Friday, increasing from 7.2% in September. These expected "bad news" items are considered "good news" by investors in a bull market, since any sign of a slowing economic recovery only underlines expectations that the Federal Open Market Committee after its next meeting on Dec. 17-18 will once again delay the curtailment of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve. As part of its "QE3" stimulus policy, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing a net $45 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury securities and $40 billion in long-term agency mortgage-backed securities each month since September 2012, in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates.