Stocks briefly pared gains but then resumed their upward direction on Thursday after the Federal Reserve held benchmark U.S. interest rates steady and dropped a description of core inflation as elevated.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 57.79 points, or 0.43 percent, at 13,485.52 after briefly paring gains immediately after the statement.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.69 points, or 0.51 percent, at 1,514.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 19.18 points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,624.53.