S&P 500 inches higher amid stimulus hopes, Fed commitment to keep supporting economy

By Around the Web

(CNBC) — The S&P 500 rose slightly on Wednesday amid the Federal Reserve’s latest pledge to support the economy and the apparent progress in U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations.

The broader-market index closed 0.2% higher at 3,701.17, just below a record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% to end the day at 12,658.19, notching intraday and closing all-time highs, as Apple and Microsoft each popped more than 2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, falling 44.77 points, or 0.15%, to 30,154.54.

The U.S. central bank said it will buy at least $120 billion of bonds each month “until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals.” The Fed declined to make any changes to the duration of its bond-buying program, but Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would increase its asset purchases if the economic recovery slows.

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