Fed Says Rate Cuts Coming, Dow Hits Record High

Stocks rallied on Wednesday, and all the major averages notched all-time closing highs after the Federal Reserve held rates at a 23-year high and maintained expectations for three cuts before the end of 2024.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 401.37 points, or 1%, to 39,512.13.

The S&P 500 index hiked 46.11 points to 5,224.62, for the first close above 5,200 ever for the much broader index.

The NASDAQ rocketed 202.62 points, or 1.3%, to 16,369.41.

Megacap technology stocks responsible for powering the recent market rally rose as investors bet the sector stands to gain the most from lower rates. Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Nvidia rose about 1%, while Meta Platforms gained 1.9%. Recent market laggards Apple charged ahead 1.5% and Tesla advanced 2.5%.

Chipotle Mexican Grill gained 3.5% after declaring a stock split post-market Tuesday. Paramount Global skyrocketed 11.8% following a report that Apollo Global Management offered $11 billion for its film and TV studio.

The Fed left rates unchanged but said that it plans to cut three times before the end of the year, reaffirming its previous forecast from December. That said, the central bank indicated that it needs greater evidence that inflation is easing before it starts taking its foot off the brakes.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury surged, lowering yields to 4.28% from Tuesday’s 4.30%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices slid $1.63 to $81.84 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices rallied $26.30 to $2,186.