- The Federal Reserve followed through on its well-telegraphed intention to raise interest rates on Wednesday, hiking short-term rates by 0.25%, or 25 basis points. The new target for the fed funds rate is 0.75% to 1%.
- The policy statement cited the strengthening labor market and improving economy as reasons for the hike. But it noted the pace of expansion is just “moderate.”
More notably, the Fed still believes that three rate hikes are appropriate for 2017, relieving investors' fears that the central bank could begin setting the groundwork for a fourth hike. The major averages started the day in the green thanks to a bullish sentiment in the crude oil market and climbed to new session highs in the afternoon following the FOMC decision.