U.S. Stocks Open Sharply Higher; Dow Jumps 180 Points

MarketWatch Pulse

The U.S. stock market opened with big gains on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve indicated it will take a slow and steady approach to raising interest rates. The FOMC statement following its two-day policy setting meeting sent indexes soaring on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 scoring its biggest one-day gain of the year. A report on weekly jobless claims came in stronger-than-expected, confirming the Fed's view that the economy is strengthening. A positive day in commodity markets, with oil prices rising for the third consecutive day, also contributed to rising optimism among equity investors. The S&P 500 opened 22 points, or 1.1%, higher at 2,035, adding to a 2% gain during the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 180 points, or 1%, to 17,549. The Nasdaq Composite began the day with a gain of 57 points, or 1.2%, at 4,701.

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