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Stocks Edge Up on Housing Data, Japan's Easing

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC GIS AZO CBRL HOV AREX

Overseas Wednesday, the Bank of Japan announced after its policy meeting overnight that it will boost its asset purchase and loan program by 10 trillion yen ($127 billion) to 80 trillion yen, and extend the deadline on its purchase program by six months to the end of 2013, amid more disappointing data including weakness in exports and factory output.

"Bank of Japan opened a new chapter on the global trend competitive currency devaluation, following aggressive steps by the ECB and the FOMC with a strong response of its own," said a Cantor Fitzgerald note.

"The market (including us) had expected the BoJ to make another easing move at the October policy meeting when the BoJ will publish its semi-annual economic outlook," said Kiyoko Katahira, an analyst at Societe Generale. "However, the easing happened earlier."

"We think action from the ECB and the Fed was also a factor that led the BoJ to act sooner, with a special concern for further yen appreciation. Moreover, rising tensions with China in the past week may turn out to be another drag on exports at least in the short term."

The FTSE in London closed up 0.35% and the DAX in Germany finished up 0.59% Wednesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed higher by 1.16% and the Nikkei in Japan finished up by 1.19%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 11/32, diluting the yield to 1.773%. The greenback was slipping 0.10%, according to the dollar index.

November crude oil futures fell $3.32 to settle at $92.30 a barrel. December gold futures settled up 50 cents at $1,771.70 an ounce.

In corporate news, shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) advanced 1.6% as the home builder offered up to $797 million in 10-year senior notes with the plan to use the proceeds to buy back other notes.

Approach Resources (AREX) shares shed 5.8% after the energy company announced that it's offering 5 million shares of its common stock in a public offering and intends to use the net proceeds to fund capital expenditures for the development of its Wolfcamp oil shale resource play and for general working capital needs, and also possibly to repay outstanding debt.

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