Dow soars above 25,000 for first time in nearly 2 months as Fed emphasizes 'patient' policy
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to session highs Wednesday afternoon, following a policy update from the Federal Open Market Committee that appeared to underscore a new regime of policy moderation (at least for the moment) for the central bank. The Dow gained 451 points, or 1.9%, at 25,037, the blue-chip gauge touched an intraday peak above the psychologically significant level at 25,000 and was on pace to register its best one-day gain since Jan. 4 when it soared 747 points or 3.3%, according to FactSet data. It was also on track to notch its highest close level since around December. As expected, on Wednesday, the Fed kept interest rates unchanged in at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, at the conclusion of its two-day rate-setting meeting. The Fed said it continues to think "the most likely outcome" for the U.S. economy is sustained growth with strong labor market conditions and inflation near 2%. However, it said it was flexible on adjusting the pace of unwind of its $4 trillion asset portfolio. A news conference led by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is set for 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The S&P 500 index jumped 1.7% at 2,683, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 2.1% at 7,177.