NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest surge in three years Thursday, its second straight triple-digit gain following the Federal Reserve’s reassurance that it was in no hurry to raise interest rates.
Bullish earnings from technology giant Oracle also drove the rally, which has helped stocks erase an early-December slump. Industrial and health care stocks also logged big gains. Even the energy sector advanced, despite another drop in the price of oil.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that she foresaw no rate hike in the first quarter of 2015. The comments eased concerns that policymakers would start raising interest rates at a time when growth outside the U.S. appears to be flagging. They also helped investors look past worries about the impact of a slumping oil price and turmoil in Russia, where the currency has tanked.
“What we’re seeing is a move back to fundamentals,” said Karyn Cavanaugh, a senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management. “Earnings continue to be good … the U.S. economy is continuing to do well.”
The Dow rose 421.28 points, or 2.4 percent, to 17,778.15. It was the Dow’s biggest gain since December 2011. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 48.34 points, also 2.4 percent, to 2,061.23. The Nasdaq Composite gained 104.09 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,748.40.
Oracle was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 index after it reported earnings late Wednesday that beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The stock rose $4.19, or 10.2 percent, to $45.35.
Investors are betting that as the economy improves and unemployment continues to fall, companies will start to invest in technology to boost productivity.
The price of oil fell $2.36 to close at $54.11 a barrel, after rising as high as $58.71 in morning trading.
Oil has plunged since June, when it peaked at $107 a barrel.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.
Want something else to read? How about ‘Grievous Censorship’ By The Guardian: Israel, Gaza And The Termination Of Nafeez Ahmed’s Blog