US stocks climbed today as investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve once again left interest rates unchanged. That sent dividend-paying stocks higher, while energy companies jumped with the price of oil.
The Wall Street Financial District in New York US (file picture).
Source: Associated Press
Stocks made a big gain after the Fed's decision, which ended about weeks of confusion for investors.
With the central bank confirming that it will raise interest rates slowly, bond yields dropped and utility and phone companies rose. The price of oil rose after the US Government said energy stockpiles shrank last week.
In the last two weeks, a few Fed leaders gave differing opinions on whether the central bank should raise interest rates now.
That surprised investors, and stocks gyrated for a few days before settling down to tiny moves this week.
"If we had not received these mixed messages, I don't think anybody would have been surprised," said Sam Stovall, US equity strategist for S&P Capital IQ.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 163.74 points, or 0.9 percent, to 18,293.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 23.36 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,163.12. The Nasdaq composite rose 53.83 points, or 1 percent, to a record 5,295.18.
Oil prices jumped as fuel stockpiles shrank and investors hoped that supply gluts are easing, which would allow prices to rise.
The Energy Information Administration said oil inventories dropped by 6.2 million barrels and gasoline inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels last week.