Fed Optimism Sends S&P 500 Sailing to Fresh High

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The broad S&P 500 set a fresh high on Wednesday after dovish remarks from the Federal Reserve whetted traders' appetites. 

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.2 points, or 0.58%, to 16907, the S&P 500 rose 15 points, or 0.77%, to 1957 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 25.6 points, or 0.59%, to 4363.

The markets have wavered recently as summer kicks off on Wall Street. However, the Federal Reserve's policy decision could help provide a better sense of direction. 

Members of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting board issued slightly more dovish rate-hike forecasts in June than the last update in March. The number of policymakers expecting a 2015 ‘lift off’ from historically-low rates fell by one, while the tally seeing a 2016 hike increased by one. This comes as FOMC members dramatically trimmed their 2014 economic growth outlooks. 

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Meanwhile, the central bank said it would continue tapering its bond-purchasing program by $10 billion a month to a new total of $35 billion.

On the corporate front, shipping giant FedEx (FDX) unveiled a quarterly beat on the top and bottom lines. Amazon.com (AMZN) is set to take the wraps off a smartphone. 

U.S. crude oil futures rose 37 cents, or 0.35%, to $106.73 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.27% to $3.099 a gallon. Gold fell $1, or 0.08%, to $1,271 a troy ounce.

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