Dow, S&P 500 close at records after Fed upgrades its growth outlook and indicates no rates hikes until 2023

Dow, S&P 500 close at records after Fed upgrades its growth outlook and indicates no rates hikes until 2023
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new records after the Federal Reserve reiterated an accommodative policy stance as the economy recovers.
  • It's "not yet" time for the Fed to start talking about reducing asset purchases, says Fed Chairman Powell.
  • The 10-year yield eased back from its highest level in 14 months.

US stocks turned higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 closing at new record highs. Tech stocks recovered after the Federal Reserve reiterated its pledge to continue supporting the US economy as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nasdaq Composite reversed course after losing more than 1% during the session and the S&P 500 clawed out of negative territory during afternoon trading. The run higher in stocks during the session came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said it was "not yet" time to begin discussions about tapering its purchases of bonds and other securities.

"We want to see that labor market conditions have made substantial progress toward maximum employment and inflation has made substantial progress toward the 2% goal," Powell said in an afternoon press conference. "When we see actual data coming in that suggests that we're on track...then we'll say so," and "well in advance of any decision to actually taper."

The Fed at its policy meeting ended Wednesday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as expected. The Fed currently buys $120 billion a month in assets in part to help keep the financial system running smoothly as the worldwide pandemic persists.

Here's where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. ET at the close on Wednesday:


Investors had earlier shoved down high-performing tech stocks as borrowing costs increased as implied by the 10-year Treasury yield. The yield approached 1.7% and reached its highest level since January 2020, which was before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic.

The Fed upgraded its economic projections including its view that gross domestic product will expand by 6.5% this year, up from the prior estimate of 4.2%. Economists have said the vaccinations of millions of Americans and the $1.9 billion fiscal stimulus package from Washington are key factors in driving economic recovery. The Fed also indicated that no rate hikes will take place before 2023.

In equities, Uber fell over 4% after the company said late Tuesday it will reclassify drivers in the United Kingdom as "workers," guaranteeing them minimum wage, paid vacation and other benefits.

Plug Power shares tumbled as much as 23% after the hydrogen fuel-cell company said it will restate some of its financial reports because of accounting errors.

Legendary investor Bill Gross said he's betting against GameStop stock again after walking away from January's wild volatility with $10 million.


Meanwhile, short bets on the stock market may be bottoming out as indexes hit record highs, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Gold rose 1.09% to $1,751.05 per ounce. Long-dated US treasury yields rose.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.46% to $64.64 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, dropped 0.55%, to $68.06 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose as much as 4.4% to $58,184.