Stocks higher as traders digest economic data, Fed rate hike

Stocks were higher on Thursday as traders assessed the morning’s economic data reports, which included gross domestic product (GDP), durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims, while they digested the Fed’s decision to hike rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 54.65 points, or 0.21 percent, to 26,439.93. The S&P 500 rose 8.03 points, about 0.3 percent, to 2,914. The Nasdaq Composite was up 51.6 points, or 0.65 percent, 8,041.97.

The final second-quarter GDP reading came in at 4.2 percent, matching estimates, while there was an uptick in weekly jobless claims. Durable goods orders climbed to a six-month high in August.

Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee increased its benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point, setting a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, and continued to forecast one more rate hike in 2018.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 38949.02 -23.39 -0.06%
SP500 S&P 500 5069.76 -8.42 -0.17%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15947.738258 -87.56 -0.55%

The policy-setting board also removed the word “accommodative” from its statement to describe their position on interest rates. The move indicates that the Fed, encouraged by rising inflation and strong U.S. hiring, is inching closer to the end of the current rate-hike cycle.

In commodities, oil rose after the U.S. government held out on releasing oil from its strategic reserve.

Fox Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report