The Dow Jones industrial average surged as much as 300 points after the Federal Reserve signaled it was edging closer to raising interest rates because of a strengthening U.S. economy, but promised to be "patient" in its approach.
The Fed says this approach is consistent with what it called its "previous" guidance that it expected to keep the rate near zero for a "considerable time."
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The Dow was up 255 points, or 1.5 percent, to 17,324 as of 2:22 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. It rose as much as 303 points shortly after the announcement.
The Fed gave no specific guidance on when the first rate hike might occur.