U.S. Stocks Close Near Record Levels After Moderate Gains

By Anora Mahmudova Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday as the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed that policy makers expected a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017. Most Fed officials indicated that upside risks to their growth forecasts had increased as a result of prospects for "more expansionary fiscal policies in coming years." The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60.47 points or 0.3%, at 19,942.23, less than 60 points below the psychologically important 20,000 level and fractionally below the record set last month. The S&P 500 advanced 12.92 points, or 0.6%, to 2,270.75, a point below its all-time high set in December. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session up 47.92 points, or 0.9%, at 5,477.00. T

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