NEW YORK (MarketWatch)—The U.S. stock market closed slightly higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a record high.
The main benchmarks swung higher after the Fed meeting and Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s news conference but trimmed gains by the end of the session.
In the end, the Federal Reserve stuck to its view that it will keep short-term interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after the central bank ends large-scale purchases of bonds meant to stimulate the U.S. economy.
Janet Yellen didn’t commit any gaffes in her news conference, nor did she give any ground to the hawks on the committee and in the markets who wanted her to signal that rate hikes are just around the corner.
The S&P 500 SPX, +0.13% rose 2.59 points, or 0.1 to 2.001.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.15% added 24.88 points, or 0.2% to 17,156.85. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.21% gained 9.43 points, or 0.2%, to 4,562.19.
Read the recap of Wednesday’s stock market coverage in a live blog.
Tanweer Akram, senior economist at Voya Investment Management, said that while the Fed’s decision was in line with expectations, its subsequent decisions will still be contingent on data and the pace of recovery in the labor market.
“The fact that there is still slack in the labor market there is no inflationary pressure means the Fed will be cautious about withdrawing accommodation.
In economic news, U.S. consumer prices fell in August for the first time in 16 months, largely because of a decline in the cost of gasoline. Separately, the U.S. current-account deficit fell to $98.5 billion in the second quarter from a revised $102.2 billion in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
A gauge of confidence among home builders rose in September to the highest level since November 2005, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Wednesday.