The dovish sentiment from the Fed at the same time put the S&P 500 financials, which tend to benefit from higher rates, last among sectors, ending with just a gain of 0.1 percent.

The Dow Minute by Minute

Position of the Dow Jones industrial average at 1-minute intervals on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 123.07 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 21,532.14, a record high. The Dow also hit an intraday record.

The S&P 500 gained 17.72 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2,443.25 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.87 points, or 1.10 percent, to 6,261.17.

An index of airline stocks was up 2.3 percent after the No. 1 U.S. airline, American Airlines Group Inc, reported quarterly results that beat expectations and its shares rose 4.2 percent.

Delta Air Lines Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc, Alaska Air Group Inc, Spirit Airlines Inc and JetBlue Airways Corp stocks also gained at least 1 percent each.

Delta Air Lines is due to report results Thursday. On Friday, reports from three of the biggest U.S. banks – JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup – are expected.

Stocks held their gains after the Fed’s latest Beige Book report showed that the U.S. economy grew at a “slight to moderate” pace over the last several weeks across all regions.

10-Year Treasury Notes

High yield in monthly refunding auction.




Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.52-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.23-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 81 new highs and 69 new lows.

About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 6.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(This version of the story corrects paragraph 4 to say North, not South Carolina)

(Reporting by Kimberly Chin; Additional reporting by Sweta Singh and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and James Dalgleish)

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