Despite choppy, listless trading, stocks managed to finish at their session high with a gain of nearly 1%. The session's advance helped contribute to a 12% gain for the week. Stocks still shed 7.5% for November
The Fed's own balance sheet has exploded from roughly $900 billion worth of debt in August to around $2 trillion as of last week. Knowledgeable sources expect that to reach $3 trillion by the end of the year.
That means that it will have grown from approximately 6% of gross domestic product to more than 20% in the space of four months. (For perspective, Japan's balance sheet grew from roughly 9% of GDP to 29% over the 10-year period from 1994 to 2004, as it pursued "quantitative easing," which basically involves the central bank making more cash available to banks to ease lending.)