Stocks Rallied on Federal Reserve Minutes

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday, as the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January policy meeting suggested that policy makers are inclined to pause the tightening process due to recent market turmoil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 257.42 points, or 1.59%, to 16,453.83. The S&P 500 gained 31.24 points, or 1.65%, to 1,926.82. The Nasdaq Composite added 98.11 points, or 2.21%, to 4,534.06.

Federal Reserve policy makers debating their outlook for interest rates last month expressed concern that the fall in commodity prices and the rout in financial markets increasingly posed risks to the U.S.“Participants judged that the overall implications of these developments for the outlook for domestic economic activity was unclear but they agreed that uncertainty had increased,” according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s Jan. 26-27 meeting released Wednesday in Washington.

Oil prices rose 7 percent on Wednesday, rebounding further from their lowest levels in a dozen years, after Iran voiced support for a Russia-Saudi-led move to freeze production to deal with the market glut. Brent crude jumped $2.32, or 7.2%, to end at $34.50 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures for March delivery advanced $1.62, or 5.6%, to settle at $30.66 a barrel.

Yahoo today said it is shutting down a huge swath of its digital magazines as it rethinks its digital content strategy. A Yahoo spokesperson said Yahoo Tech was not affected by the changes.

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