Dow up about 200 points after Fed minutes, with stocks drifting near session highs
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Wednesday afternoon was rallying after the market digested minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy gathering. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 190 points, or 0.8%, to 25,151, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.7% at 2,736, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index , a proxy for risk appetite on Wall Street, climbed 1.1% to 7,308. Minutes from the Jan. 30-31 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that officials saw a stronger economy than at the end of 2017 and that more rate hikes were in the offing. The strengthening "increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate." To convey this message, officials altered their statement to point to "further gradual increases," according to the minutes. However, the Fed minutes don't incorporate recent signs of rapidly rising inflation, which could make the Fed more inclined to hike rates faster than the three that Wall Street is forecasting, some market participants speculated.