Stocks Rally as Fed Minutes Yield Few Surprises

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets zipped higher after a drop in the last session as traders breathed a sigh of relief after Fed minutes broadly matched expectations.

Continue Reading Below

Today's Markets

As of 2:10 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 129 points, or 0.79%, to 16504, the S&P 500 advanced 10.1 points, or 0.55%, to 1883 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 22.2 points, or 0.55%, to 4119.

Wall Street took significant losses on low volume in the last session, with shares of retailers leading the way lower. Sentiment shifted on Wednesday, as traders scooped up beaten down stocks.

On the economic front, the Federal Reserve began designing its exit from near-zero short-term interest rates at its two-day meeting in late April, although policymakers stressed the eventual lift-off will come in the future, and only when economic conditions warrant. Meeting participants said their broad economic outlook hadn’t changed since March and continued to worry somewhat about low levels of inflation.

The conversation has shifted from a discussion over how quickly the central bank will taper its bond-buying program to discussion over when and how it will begin to normalize interest rates. Short-term rates have been at historic lows since the financial crisis, but as the economy improves, the Fed will have to begin hiking rates to keep growth and inflation from over-heating. Economists expect "lift-off" to occur at some point next year.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 17 cents, or 0.17%, to $102.44 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.28% to $2.972 a gallon. Gold dipped $4.50, or 0.35%, to $1,290 a troy ounce.