Dow up 150 points after Fed leaves rates unchanged, adopts tepidly hawkish stance
U.S. stock indexes held on to modest gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left key interest rates unchanged, but signaled that the economy is improving. The central bank didn't offer a clear signal about when it might lift interest rates next but its comments on the health of the U.S. economy and its expectations that sluggish inflation, hovering just below the Fed's 2% annual target, will normalize, suggests that the central bank is ready to tighten further in 2018, if not by March as the market is betting. The Fed said "market-based measures of inflation compensation have increased in recent months." Rates remain a range between 1.25% to 1.50%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 150 points, or 0.6%, at 26,220, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.3% at 2,829 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.4% at 7,428.