Stocks ripped higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said interest rates are close to neutral, a change in tone from remarks the central bank chief made nearly two months ago.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 617.70 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,366.43, posting its biggest one-day gain since March 26. The 30-stock index also notched its second-best day of the year and is up more than 1,000 points for the week.
The S&P 500 jumped 2.3 percent to 2,743.82 as traders took the comments to mean fewer rate hikes were coming in 2019 that could derail the bull market. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.95 percent to close at 7,291.59 and post its best day since Oct. 25. The Dow and S&P are now positive for November after Wednesday's comeback.
"Interest rates are still low by historical standards, and they remain just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy — that is, neither speeding up nor slowing down growth," Powell said in a speech at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday.