Stocks Closed Higher After Fed Kept Rates Steady

U.S. stocks closed near the highs of the day on Wednesday, following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 163.74 points, or 0.90%, to 18,293.70. The S&P 500 was up 23.36 points, or 1.09%, to 2,163.12. The Nasdaq Composite gained 53.83 points, or 1.03%, to 5,295.18.

The Federal Reserve once again pushed back plans to raise interest rates on Wednesday, a widely expected move following a series of mixed economic reports and varied signals from Fed officials. After its two-day policy meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to hold the federal funds rate between 0.25% and 0.50%, citing progress in economic and labor market growth and an improving risk outlook.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday accused hedge-fund manager Leon G. Cooperman and his firm Omega Advisors of insider trading. The SEC said in its lawsuit Wednesday that several funds managed by the 73-year-old Mr. Cooperman profited after purchasing securities in Atlas Pipeline Partners in advance of the 2010 sale of its natural gas processing facility in Elk City, Okla.

Oil futures ended higher Wednesday after U.S. government data revealed a drop in crude inventories, marking the third such unexpected weekly decline in a row. November West Texas Intermediate crude settled up $1.29, or 2.9%, at $45.34 a barrel. Brent crude for November delivery was last up 10 cents at $46.93 a barrel.

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