Stocks Ended Higher after Fed Cut Rates

U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve cut benchmark interest rates for a third consecutive meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 115.27 points, or 0.43%, to 27,186.69. The S&P 500 rose 9.88 points, or 0.33%, to 3,046.77. The Nasdaq Composite added 27.12 points, or 0.33%, to 8,303.98.

Oil futures ended Wednesday at their lowest in just over a week after the Energy Information Administration reported a larger-than-expected weekly U.S. crude-supply increase of almost 6 million barrels. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery fell 48 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $55.06 a barrel. December Brent crude fell by 98 cents, or 1.6%, to $60.61 a barrel.

The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate for the third straight meeting and signaled it may pause before further changes to monetary policy to see whether these easing steps are enough to sustain the economic expansion. At the policy meeting on Wednesday, officials said they would lower the federal-funds target rate by a quarter percentage point, to between 1.5%-1.75%.

Facebook (FB) posted third quarter earnings per share that beat Wall Street’s expectations, boosted by a 25% jump in advertising revenue. It reported third-quarter net income of $6.09 billion, or $2.12 a share, in the quarter, compared with $5.14 billion, or $1.76 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 29% to $17.65 billion from $13.73 billion a year ago.

Apple (AAPL) reported its Q4 earnings after the bell on Wednesday, beating analysts’ expectations on the top and bottom line.Revenue: $64 billion versus $63.01 billion expected, Earnings per share: $3.03 versus $2.83 expected.

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