Stocks Ended Higher after Fed Left Rates Unchanged

U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the economy and job market continued to strengthen and left its key interest rate unchanged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 121.12 points, or 0.69%, to 17,751.39. The S&P 500 was up 15.32 points, or 0.73%, to 2,108.57. The Nasdaq Composite gained 22.53 points, or 0.44%, to 5,111.73.

Federal Reserve policy makers said the job market has made further gains, keeping them on a path to raise interest rates this year for the first time in almost a decade without providing a clear signal on the timing of liftoff.

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. houses unexpectedly fell in June after five straight months of increase, suggesting some cooling in home resales activity after recent hefty gains.

Facebook (FB) revealed stronger-than-expected second-quarter profits and sales after the close on Wednesday. Itearned adjusted profits of 50 cents a share, topping views by three cents. Sales, meanwhile, came in at $4.04 billion, also exceeding estimates of $3.99 billion.

Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors introduced an incentive program to encourage owners of its electric vehicles to convince their friends to buy cars, even as the company spurns traditional marketing tactics such as advertising.

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