S&P 500 ekes out a record close as Fed plans to stick with easy policy – CNBC

S&P 500 ekes out a record close as Fed plans to stick with easy policy – CNBC

The S&P 500 gained slightly to hit a record high on Wednesday as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed the central bank’s commitment to accommodative policy in order to support a full economic recovery.

The broad equity benchmark rose 0.1% to 4,079.95, a new closing high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.02 points, or 0.1%, to 33,446.26. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.1% to 13,688.84 even as Big Tech stocks registered solid gains. Amazon, Apple and Alphabet all climbed more than 1%, while Facebook jumped 2.2%.

Fed officials indicated at their last meeting that the pace of asset purchases will stay the same for some time while the central bank pursues its economic goals.

“Participants noted that it would likely be some time until substantial further progress toward the Committee’s maximum-employment and price-stability goals would be realized and that, consistent with the Committee’s outcome-based guidance, asset purchases would continue at least at the current pace until then,” the meeting minutes read.

The policymakers expected the economy to rebound substantially in 2021 amid the historic economic reopening, and they believe stronger-than-average growth in the following years will continue to facilitate the labor-market recovery.

“Real GDP growth was projected to be substantial this year and the unemployment rate was forecast to decline markedly,” the minutes also said. “Real GDP growth was expected to step down in 2022 and 2023 but still outpace that of potential over this period, leading to a decline in the unemployment rate