Nasdaq, S&P 500 close at record highs after Fed meeting

Nasdaq, S&P 500 close at record highs after Fed meeting

S&P 500 closes above 5,400 for 1st time

By Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed Wednesday at record highs after the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting.

The S&P 500 increased 45 points, or 0.85%, to finish the session at 5,421. It is also the first time the index closed above 5,400.

The Nasdaq soared almost 265 points, or 1.53%, to finish at 17,608.

The Dow, on the other hand, fell 35 points, or 0.09%, to end the session at 38,712.

The Fed kept its federal funds rate unchanged between the 5.25% - 5.5% target range, as widely expected, but signaled it expects one interest rate cut this year, according to its projection materials.

Chair Jerome Powell said at a post-meeting news conference that macroeconomic data have not given Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members confidence so far this year to begin interest rate cuts.

"The most recent inflation readings have been more favorable than earlier in the year, however, there has been modest progress toward our inflation objective," Powell said, adding the FOMC needs to see more good data to start cutting rates.

Consumer inflation in the US annually rose 3.3% in May -- lower than market estimates of a 3.4% gain -- after increasing 3.4% in April year-on-year, according to Labor Department figures released before Wednesday's market opening, which boosted stocks early in the session.

The consumer price index showed no gain and managed to come in below expectations of a 0.1% increase, following a monthly gain of 0.3% in April.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, plummeted 6.5% to 12.01. The 10-year US Treasury yield dove 1.8% to 4.330%.

The dollar index fell 0.45% to 104.76, while the euro rose 0.61% to $1.0805 against the greenback.

Precious metals were on the rise, with gold adding 0.17% to $2,320 and silver increasing 1.2% to $29.62.

Oil prices were up around 0.6%, with global benchmark Brent crude at $82.45 and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate at $78.36.

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