US stocks leap after Fed minutes

US stocks hit fresh five-month highs yesterday as details from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed the US central bank may once again flood markets with cheap cash “before long” to further boost growth.

The minutes from the Fed’s 21 September meeting served as another strong signal for a stock market that has surged for weeks on rising hopes for more Fed action. The S&P 500 index is up 11.5 per cent since the start of September.

Shares of drilling contractors rose after the Obama administration lifted its ban on deepwater drilling seven weeks ahead of schedule.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 10.06 points, or 0.09 percent, to 11,020.40. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 4.45 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 1,169.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 15.59 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 2,417.92.