Closing Bell

YRC up 4.3 percent, Waddell & Reed, Inergy, Ferrellgas, KC Southern also gain

Updated: 2013-03-20T22:02:17Z

Most regional stocks closed higher Wednesday as YRC and Inergy reported the biggest percentage gains.

YRC continued its up-down pattern of the week, finishing 4.3 percent higher. It was up nearly 16 percent Monday, but gave back nearly half of that on Tuesday.

Inergy gained 5.5 percent while fellow energy provider Ferrellgas finished 2.3 percent higher.

Sprint closed unchanged at $6.03.

On the downside, Garmin fell as did Capitol Federal.

On Wall Street, fear of a revived debt crisis in Europe faded from the stock market Wednesday, freeing the Dow Jones industrial average to touch an all-time high.

After dipping Monday on concerns that Cyprus would become the latest European nation to stir fiscal chaos, the Dow posted its second straight day of gains.

Stocks traded steadily higher for most of the day and spiked after the Federal Reserve said it will continue with aggressive measures to boost the economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that Cyprus crisis posed no major risk to the U.S. economy.

The Dow was up 44 points shortly before the Fed announcement. It rose as much as 91 points shortly after the Fed released its policy statement early in the afternoon, touching an all-time high of 14,546.

The Fed said the U.S. economy has strengthened after pausing late last year, but still needs support from the central bank. The Fed plans to continue buying $85 billion in bonds per month indefinitely to keep long-term borrowing costs down and spur investment. It also said it would keep short-term interest rates at record lows, at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent.

Unemployment fell last month to 7.7 percent, the lowest in four years. The Fed doesn’t expect the rate to reach its target until 2015.

The Dow closed up 55.91 points Wednesday, or 0.4 percent, to 14,511.73.

Attention had returned to Europe this week after several months’ respite, during which traders focused on the strengthening U.S. economy and drove stocks to multi-year highs.

Over the previous two years, concerns about a breakup of the euro currency often dominated trading of U.S. stocks. The jitters receded after central banks provided enough extra cash to help prop up Europe’s commercial banks.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.37 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,558.71. The Nasdaq composite index rose 25.09, or 0.8 percent, to 3,254.19.

The S&P 500 is just six points below its all-time high of 1,565, reached in October 2007. It is up 9.3 percent so far this year.

The BATS 1000 rose 116.19 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 17,644.75.

Regional stocks

Capitol Federal Financial fell 7 cents, or 0.58%, to close at $11.93.

Cerner Corp. rose 63 cents, or 0.69%, to close at $91.39.

Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 38 cents, or 0.95%, to close at $40.22.

Compass Minerals rose 28 cents, or 0.36%, to close at $78.19.

DST Systems Inc. rose 38 cents, or 0.55%, to close at $69.86.

Ferrellgas Partners L.P. rose 43 cents, or 2.29%, to close at $19.22.

Garmin Ltd. fell 14 cents, or 0.42%, to close at $33.47.

Great Plains Energy rose 10 cents, or 0.44%, to close at $22.99.

H&R Block Inc. rose 23 cents, or 0.83%, to close at $27.83.

Inergy L.P. rose $1.05, or 5.49%, to close at $20.18.

Kansas City Life Insurance Co. rose 34 cents, or 0.89%, to close at $38.62.

Kansas City Southern rose $1.07, or 0.99%, to close at $108.98.

Layne Christensen Co. rose 7 cents, or 0.32%, to close at $22.11.

O’Reilly Automotive Inc. rose 24 cents, or 0.23%, to close at $103.49.

Sprint Nextel Corp. was unchanged at $6.03.

UMB Financial Corp. rose 24 cents, or 0.50%, to close at $48.34.

Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 94 cents, or 2.21%, to close at $43.53.

YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 35 cents, or 4.30%, to close at $8.49.

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