The Dow was up 435 points on Wednesday, largely due to the Fed’s statements alluding to patience with raising interest rates over the upcoming months. Fed governors were unanimous in their support to keep federal fund rates between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. This critical rate sets mortgage rates as well as credit cards and other borrowing mechanisms. The agreement came during the first policy meeting of the year.
Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief at the news, causing stocks to soar. The Nasdaq was up 2.2 percent for the day with the S&P 500 closing at a 1.6 percent gain.
Many investors have grown increasingly worried about the economy. Escalating trade tensions with China combined with the five-week government shutdown have led to understandable jitters in the market. Growing political unrest across the globe as well as on the domestic front have contributed to widespread uncertainty.
However, Wednesday’s signal from the Fed about interest rates served to breathe some relief into uncertain markets. In addition to the news about interest rates, exceptionally positive news from Boeing buoyed the markets.
The American aviation giant reported record sales for the year 2018. The company earned more than $100 billion for the first time ever in its storied history. The report also said that the company expects 2019 to be an even stronger year. Boeing stock was up 6.3 percent for the day.
Apple also reported news that was better than expected, lifting shares of the technology mainstay to close up three percent for the day.
Investor eyes will be on Facebook on Thursday. The social media company’s earnings report was due after the bell on Wednesday so these numbers were not factored into the markets for the day. Despite ongoing controversy with privacy concerns, Facebook is still expected to convey a positive outlook heading into the new year.