US STOCKS-S&P 500 to test record high after BOJ ramps up stimulus
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By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 could set a record high at the open on Friday as markets rallied globally after the Bank of Japan significantly ramped up its stimulus program just days after the U.S. Federal Reserve wound down its own package of economic incentives.
If futures' gains hold after the open, the S&P 500 could test its record high set more than a month ago. The December e-minis contract hit an intraday record earlier on Friday.
The BOJ's board voted 5-4 to accelerate purchases of Japanese government bonds while tripling its purchases of exchange-traded funds and real-estate investment trusts.
At the same time, Japan's $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund announced new allocations for its portfolio, including raising its holdings of domestic and foreign stock holdings to 25 percent each from 12 percent. A Nikkei newspaper report on this announcement on Thursday contributed to an afternoon move higher in U.S. stocks.
The timing of the moves sends a strong signal to investors, coming right as six years of aggressive U.S. stimulus come to an end and as euro zone inflation data kept the pressure on the European Central Bank to further ease monetary policy. Continuación...