U.S. Stocks Open Slightly Higher As Fed Signals Faster Pace Of Rate Hikes In 2017

By Ryan Vlastelica Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened with a slight upside bias on Thursday as investors continued to digest the previous day's statement from the Federal Reserve, when the central bank raised interest rates and pointed to a faster pace of increases in 2017. Wall Street has rallied to repeated records of late, and further gains may be difficult to come by given the new Fed uncertainty. While more rate hikes would be a sign of confidence in the economy, it would also represent a less accommodative stance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32 points, or 0.1%, to 19,824. Energy shares were in focus, with crude oil falling 1.7% on the day, sending the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF down 0.7%. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 2,255, a move of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5.7 points to 5,442, a move of 0.1%.

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