The Dow on Wednesday notched its highest finish since early December after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled further increases are on hold. Already buoyant on the back of rising shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Boeing Co. (BA), the Dow Jones Industrial Average, powered decisively higher, gaining 435 points, or 1.8%, at 25,015, on a preliminary basis. The close for blue chips marked the highest since early December and the best single-session for the Dow since Jan. 4, according to FacSet data. The S&P 500 index advanced 1.6% at 2,681, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.2% at 7,183, on a preliminary basis. The Fed left interest rates unchanged, as widely expected, holding at a range of 2.25% to 2.50%, but indicated that it would be 'patient' in further interest-rate hikes and on the unwind of its $4.1 trillion balance, which has been a source of turbulence and anxiety for investors in the past few months. At at a news conference Wednesday afternoon following its policy update, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reassured markets that the domestic economy remained strong but said the Fed wanted to be cognizant of recent "crosscurrents" in markets. The lion's share of the market's updraft came from Boeing Co. (BA), which offered upbeat guidance and produced quarterly results that far surpassed analysts' expectations. Fourth-quarter results that weren't as bad as feared from Dow-component Apple Inc. (AAPL) also helped to lift the other two main equity benchmarks. In economic data, the private sector added 213,000 jobs in January, according to a report from payroll firm ADP. That's above the consensus estimate of 178,000 new jobs, according to FactSet data. Elsewhere on corporate results, shares of McDonald's Corp. (MCD) were in focus after the fast-food giant beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations, but fell short of revenue forecasts. After the closing bell, Facebook Inc. (FB) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) were set to release quarterly results.
-Mark DeCambre; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 30, 2019 16:35 ET (21:35 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.