(CNBC) — U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday as investors cheered the Federal Reserve's statement that indicated a rate hike would come later rather than sooner. (Tweet this)
The Fed dropped the word "patient" from its March meeting statement, a subtle indication that the era of zero interest rates is about to end.
Importantly for market analysts, the Fed lowered its December rate outlook by about 50 basis points.
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"That's what the market is getting most excited about," said Ashwin Bulchandani, chief risk officer and market strategist at MatlinPatterson. The Fed "came down to the market."