U.S. stocks held onto most of its gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve decided to end its string of interest rate cuts and maintain rates at 2 percent as inflation concerns rise.
As of 2:17 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.54 points, or 0.71 percent to 11891.62, the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 16.32 points, or 1.24 percent, to 1331.34 and the Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 42.10 points, or 1.78 percent, to 2410.38.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues concluded after their two-day meeting to avoid a yet another contraction, ending the most aggressive series of rate cuts in two decades.
Although downside risks to growth remain, they appear to have diminished somewhat, and the upside risks to inflation and inflation expectations have increased,'' the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement today in Washington.
The hold was expected, after several speeches by Fed officials highlighted the concern that inflation was creating for policy makers. It was the first time in 10 months that the central bank did not cut rates-last summer; the key rate was above 5 percent.
Wednesday's rally is in contrast to recent action in the market after being in a slump in recent days, with the Dow closing down for six out of the past seven trading days, losing more than 4 percent.
Microsoft led the Dow in recent trading, rising more than 2 percent along with many other tech stocks. Big-name tech stocks like Dell and Apple posted big gains ahead of Research in Motion's earnings release. Dell was up 2.2 percent at $23.54, Apple was also up 2.2 percent to $177.10 while Research in Motion was up 0.8 percent to $141.50.