Major U.S. Averages Skyrocket, Dow Gains More than 240 Points

A smashing rally as the bulls thundered to the close. Are investors finally ready for a rate hike? It appears so. A hawkish Federal Reserve helped push the markets higher following the release of the minutes from its October policy meeting, which confirmed most members were eager to begin raising rates in December.

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All the major averages skyrocketed, with the Dow seeing gains of 247 points. Wednesday's rally lifted the S&P 500 33 points and back into positive territory for the year. The Nasdaq crushed the bears, jumping 89 points.

One of the biggest stories to watch is oil; prices briefly dropped below $40 per barrel to $39.91 before settling just shy of $41. As oil prices remain at the $40-$41 range, AAA is predicting gas prices will drop below $2 per gallon by the holidays.

Just how low can GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) go? Shares of the action camera maker hit a new all-time low of $18.86 after an analyst at Piper Jaffray (NYSE:PJC) cut her price target from $20 to $15. Shares of GoPro fell 5%.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is ready to take a big bite of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The bank upgraded the iPhone maker and added it to its conviction buy list, saying the company could rise 43% in the next 12 months. Share of Apple closed higher by more than 3%.

Troubled coffee and coffee maker brand Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR) hit a multi-year low during trade Wednesday before reporting better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. Shares immediately reversed, soaring 20% after-hours. Keurig expects market conditions will remain a challenge in the near term and foreign currency will negatively impact the company.