US stocks end higher after Fed holds steady on rates

| Updated: November 03, 2017 11:29:02

File Photo (Reuters) File Photo (Reuters)

US stocks posted modest gains on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and gave encouraging comments about the economy.

The US central bank pointed to solid US economic growth and a strengthening labour market while downplaying the impact of recent hurricanes, a sign it is on track to lift borrowing costs again in December.

The Fed has raised rates twice this year and currently forecasts one more hike by the end of 2017 as part of a tightening cycle that began in late 2015.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.77 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 23,435.01, the S&P 500 gained 4.1 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 2,579.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.14 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 6,716.53.

Energy was the best-performing S&P 500 sector, rising 1.1 per cent while utilities lagged the most.

Tech, which has led the market’s rise this year, closed up 0.1 per cent for its fifth straight session of gains.

After the market closed, Facebook shares were down 1.7 per cent in volatile trading after the social media company’s quarterly report.

Estee Lauder shares rose 9.2 per cent after the cosmetics maker forecast holiday-quarter sales ahead of market expectations. US Steel shares rose 7.8 per cent after the company’s quarterly report.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.69-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

About 6.9 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, above the nearly 6.2 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

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