Investing.com — Stocks on the U.S equities markets surged on Wednesday afternoon after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the Fed will remove a “patience reference,” from its minutes, paving the way for an interest-rate hike at some point in 2015.
While Ms. Yellen indicated that its benchmark Federal Funds Rate could be increased later this year, it will not occur until after the Federal Open Market Committee’s next meeting in April, at the earliest. Yellen added that the timing of the decision will be “data dependent,” and that a rate hike will not necessarily be made in June.
Drawing comparisons with Alan Greenspan by striking a well-balanced tone for the Fed’s short-term outlook, Yellen appeared hawkish with the removal of patience, but dovish with forecasts for weaker inflation and GDP growth.
Stocks rallied broadly in late-afternoon trading to reverse previous losses earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 227.11 points or 1.27% to close at 18,076.19. Stocks were down on the Dow by about 95 points minutes before the Fed released its statement at 2 p.m. EST. The S&P 500 Composite index and NASDAQ Composite index also rebounded from earlier losses on the day to close broadly higher.
Led by strong gains in the Oil & Gas, Utilities and Basic Materials sectors, the S&P 500 gained 25.14 or 1.21% to 2,099.42. The Oil & Gas sector rose nearly 3%, as Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) were among the top performers on the Dow. Utilities, meanwhile, rose more than 2.6% while basic materials closed 1.78% higher. The NASDAQ gained 0.92% or 45.39 to close at 4,982.83.
The top performer on the Dow was Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Inc. which rose 2.96 or 3.77% to 81.41. The worst performer, meanwhile, was Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), Inc, which fell 0.13 or 0.16% to 82.49.
The biggest gainer on the S&P 500 was Transocean, which gained 8.77% or 1.23 to 15.25. The worst performer was The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW), which dropped 3.66% or 1.13 to 29.77.
The top performer on the NASDAQ was Baidu.com, which rose 3.78% or 7.69 to 210.95. The worst performer was Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), which fell 3.66% or 1.13 to 210.95.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.