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Stocks End Sharply Higher After Fed News
CNBC.com | January 25, 2012 | 07:57 PM EST

Stocks ended near session highs Wednesday, reversing their early declines, as the market cheered news that the Fed will not raise interest rates until at least 2014 in addition to maintaining its highly accommodative stance to support the recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 81.21 points, or 0.64 percent, to finish at 12,756.96, led by DuPont and Caterpillar .

The S&P 500 added 11.41 points, or 0.87 percent, to end at 1,326.06. The Nasdaq jumped 31.67 points, or 1.14 percent, to finish at 2,818.31.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed near 18.

All key S&P sectors finished higher, led by utilities and materials.

“The fact that [the Fed] extended low rates for another year and then left the door wide open for another stimulus…implies that things are still not as good,” said Kenny Polcari, managing director at ICAP Equities. “This is a manufactured rally—there’s nothing fundamental about this.”

The Fed kept its funds range unchanged near zero and extended its pledge not to boost interest rates until at least 2014, in order to help bolster the weak but modestly growing economy. The Fed has kept its key interest rate at a record low near zero for three years.

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