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US stocks traded higher as Wall Street continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its interest rates unchanged.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday added 119.85 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 18,413.55, Xinhua news agency reported.
The S&P 500 gained 12.04 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 2,175.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 34.79 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 5,329.97.
“The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives,” the Fed said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The Fed’s updated projections showed that policymakers expected the federal funds rate to rise to around 0.625 percent at the end of 2016, implying one rate hike this year, down from two estimated in June.
“The Fed did not raise rates yesterday, but they indicated their eagerness to restart the process,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.
The Fed will hold its next two policy meetings on November 1-2 and December 13-14.
On the economic front, in the week ending on September 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 252,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 260,000, the US Labor Department reported on Thursday.
The four-week moving average was 258,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 260,750.
On Wednesday, US stocks posted solid gains, with the Nasdaq setting its new intraday and closing records, after the Fed decided to leave its federal funds rate unchanged.