US STOCKS ended slightly higher following a choppy session yesterday after the Federal Reserve said the US economy is likely strong enough to withstand an interest rate hike later this year.
Even if a majority of Fed officials continue to see higher rates by the end of 2015, they expect rates to rise slightly less by the end of 2016 and 2017 than they did in their March forecasts.
That view on rates saw high-yielding stocks gain, with the S&P 500 utilities sector up 0.9 per cent.
Stocks hit session highs as Fed chair Janet Yellen spoke to the media in a follow-up to the statement. They lost more than half the day’s gains at the close.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31.26 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 17,935.74, the S&P 500 gained 4.15 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,100.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.33 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 5,064.88. At its high, the S&P was up 0.5 per cent.