NEW YORK: The S&P 500 closed at its highest level of the year on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates untouched and signaled fewer rate hikes in coming months. The Fed indicated moderate US economic growth and "strong job gains" would allow it to tighten policy this year with fresh projections showing policymakers expected two quarter-point hikes by the year's end, half the number seen in December. But the US central bank noted the United States continues to face risks from an uncertain global economy.
U.S. stocks climbed on Monday after a raft of manufacturing data globally and strength in healthcare shares following more acquisition activity. The gains continued Wall Street's momentum in the first trading day of the month after the major indexes posted their best monthly performance in four years in October. The Nasdaq 100 touched its highest intraday level in more than 15 years. Fresh data on Monday showed U.S. manufacturing activity in October sunk to a 2-1/2-year low, but a rise in new orders offered encouragement.
After gaining 109 points Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 for the first time in history. The index touched the mark earlier this week, but it fell short by the day's end.» E-Mail This » Add to Del.icio.us
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is swapping out three of its blue chip companies, in what's being called the biggest shake up of the index in almost a decade. Standard & Poor's announced it's dropping Hewlett Packard, Alcoa and Bank of America at the end of next week. Sliding into their places: Visa, Nike and Goldman Sachs.