Wall Street ends at multi-year highs on Fed

Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the largest U.S. company by market value, ended at an all-time peak, and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), the second biggest, hit a four-year high.
Equities are in a run-up that has pushed the S&P 500 to end higher for four consecutive months. The extended advance has come mainly from actions by Europe’s and the United States’ central banks to keep interest rates low and stimulate their struggling economies.
The Fed said Thursday that it would keep up its aggressive bond-buying until unemployment falls. Chairman Ben Bernanke said he wanted to see a convincing improvement in the economy that could deliver sustainable job creation. Bernanke’s comments are “going to create an artificial floor on the market, meaning that we could see higher prices over time,” said Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago. “Any correction that we get will be no more than a few percentage points.”
The Dow and the S&P 500 both closed at their highest levels since December 2007, while the Nasdaq ended at the highest since November 2000. The small-cap Russell 2000 .RUT index closed at the highest since April 2011.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 53.51 points, or 0.40 percent, to 13,593.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX closed up 5.78 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,465.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC gained 28.12 points, or 0.89 percent, to 3,183.95.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.2 percent, the S&P climbed 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq added 1.5 percent.
The S&P is now just 6 percent below its all-time closing high of 1,565.15 despite a relatively weak economy and economic risks around the world.
The Fed’s balance sheet could expand by 11 to 12 percent by the end of the year, monetary accommodation that could “translate into a move up in the S&P 500 stock index to the 1,505 area,” Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, said,
Energy and material stocks led the gains as the Fed’s move boosted commodity prices. Miner Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc (FCX.N) rose 2.03 percent to $42.64 and aluminum company Alcoa Inc (AA.N) advanced 2.18 percent to $9.84. The PHLX Gold/Silver Index .XAU climbed 2.86 percent to its highest since early March.
The S&P energy sector index .GSPE rose 1.3 percent and the S&P materials sector index .GSPM was up 1.2 percent.

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