NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve went all-in on Thursday and 401(k) accounts across the land saw an immediate benefit. The next step is for all this stimulus to start making an impact in the want ads. Here's the key line in the central bank's policy statement: "To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens." That's the crystallization of Bernanke's stated objective to move toward using communication as a policy tool. It's a gutsy approach. Words are just words, of course, so Thursday's other actions -- purchasing $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month, extending Operation Twist, sticking with its zero interest rate policy into at least mid-2015 -- are the meat in this stimulus sandwich but don't underestimate the psychological power that pledge to hang in until the recovery is on solid footing may ultimately hold. Juicing stock prices is the easy part. Translating more money printing into a hiring blitz by America's businesses big and small and improvement in the housing market are other things entirely. But knowing Bernanke has their back for the next few years could very well prompt CEOs to loosen the purse strings a bit and start putting taking a chance on growth ahead of the cold efficiency that's been the mantra since the financial crisis set in. Knowing the Fed is going to be there buying those mortgage-backed securities each month, and maybe some Treasuries down the line as well, should get banks lending with a bit more alacrity than has understandably been the case for years now. After Thursday's buying wave, the major U.S. equity indices are all looking a bit overbought in the near-term and Wall Street's attention is set to turn to the Nov. 6 presidential election and the fiscal cliff, so the trading could get choppy over the next few weeks. Taking a step back though, the bears may opt for an early hibernation this winter because between what the European Central Bank did last week and what the Fed pulled off today, the conversation has shifted from what will the world's central banks do to right the ship to will it work?
And for a day at least, investors were betting on Ben, betting that if the Fed hasn't already done enough, he stands ready to do more. Stay tuned to see if the folks who make the hiring decisions in this country ultimately do the same. Meantime, the price action in the big banks from here should be telling. Bank of America ( BAC) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) were the Dow's best performers, and open-ended quantitative easing is about as positive a catalyst as the pair is likely to get. S&P Capital IQ was quick to boost its price target by 12.5% on JPMorgan to $45 from $40 after the Fed decision. "We see shares benefiting from QE3 mortgage bond buying program, which should lead to lower mortgage rates, giving a further boost to the U.S. housing market, and boosting JPM's revenues and credit quality," the firm said. Bank of America is suddenly back within shouting distance of $10 again after adding nearly 5% to close at $9.40, its best finish since April 3, while JPMorgan's stock bounced 3.7% to settle at $41.40. As for Friday's scheduled news, it's another nothing day from an earnings standpoint but a raft of economic data should pick up some of the headline slack. The wires will be crowded by retail sales and the consumer price index for August at 8:30 a.m. ET; industrial production and capacity utilization for August at 9:15 a.m. ET; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September at 9:55 a.m. ET; and business inventories for July at 10 a.m. ET. And finally, Analogic ( ALOG) was a big winner in Thursday's after-hours action. The Peabody, Mass.-based health care technology company reported non-GAAP earnings of $16.6 million, or $1.32 a share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended in July on revenue of $151 million, up 12% from the year before. On a continuing operations basis, Analogic earned $12.1 million, or 96 cents a share, in the latest quarter. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 71 cents a share on revenue of $140.8 million. The stock, which was already up 20.7% so far in 2012, was last quoted at $76.75, up an additional 11%, on volume of nearly 90,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Also making news in the extended session was Werner Enterprises ( WERN), whose shares lost more than 8% after the Omaha, Neb.-based transportation and logistics company said it expects higher costs to weigh on its third-quarter results. The company forecast a profit of 33 to 36 cents a share for the three months ending this month, below the current consensus view for earnings of 44 cents a share. Werner cited "cost increases for truck and trailer depreciation and driver pay" for the outlook, along with higher costs for fuel, health care and equipment maintenance. "These costs are increasing faster than our revenue per mile," Werner said in a brief statement. Prior to the pullback after the bell, the stock was down just 2% year-to-date. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.