Fed’s cheer on economy boosts Dow

US stocks rose yesterday after the Federal Reserve pointed to signs of strength in the economy, comments that gave some relief to investors worried about possible debt defaults in Europe.

The Fed’s comments on the economy and its statement that it would keep interest rates low for an extended period lifted bank shares.

BKW Bank index rose 1.4 per cent. Investors also scooped up shares beaten-down in Tuesday’s selloff after debt downgrades for Greece and Portugal.

Some investors said the Fed had Europe’s turmoil in mind.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 53.28 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 11,045.27. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 7.65 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 1,191.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.26 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,471.73.

Energy and financial shares were the top gainers.

About 10.98bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.