New York Report: Stocks rise on Fed outlook on interest rates

WALL Street stocks jumped on Wednesday, taking the S&P 500 index of top companies to an all-time record after the Federal Reserve promised to keep in place low interest rates until 2015 and forecast a moderate growth in the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98.13 points, or 0.58 per cent, to end at 16,906.62. The Nasdaq Composite added 25.60 points or 0.59 per cent, to 4,362.84, while the S&P 500 gained 14.99 points or 0.77 per cent, to finish at 1,956.98, breaking the previous record set on 9 June.

Among the biggest gainers was FedEx which rose 6.2 per cent to $148.95 after hitting an all-time high of $149.34. shares jumped 2.7 per cent to $334.38 after chief executive Jeff Bezos unveiled a “Fire” smartphone with free, unlimited photo storage, jumping into a crowded field dominated by Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Adobe Systems shares shot up 8.2 per cent to $73.08. Adobe was the S&P 500’s best performer a day after the maker of Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat software reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.

However, ConAgra Foods’ stock slid 7.3 per cent to $30.47 after the maker of Slim Jim beef jerky warned about results.

Crude oil rose 86 cents to a nine-month high at $114.31 a barrel as a strike by Sunni militants on a refinery near Baghdad stoked fears about oil exports. US crude fell 39 cents to settle at $105.97 a barrel, its lowest since 11 June.