US STOCKS-Wall St rallies after Fed statement; S&P has best day this year

miércoles 17 de diciembre de 2014 17:39 GYT

* Fed on track to raise rates sometime next year

* Energy shares lead gains on S&P 500

* Indexes up: Dow 1.7 pct, S&P 2 pct, Nasdaq 2.1 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 scored its best day since October 2013 on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates.

The rally, which followed a three-day losing streak, was also driven by a 4.2 percent gain in the S&P energy index .

Following a two-day meeting, the U.S. central bank gave a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year. The Fed statement came against a backdrop of solid domestic economic growth but trouble overseas.

"This is the market saying, 'Ah, I get it,' the Fed does not want to be in the business of disruption, this is a steady monetary policy and the Fed will continue to be supportive of asset prices," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman Private Banking in New York.

Also supporting stocks, Fed Chair Janet Yellen it was not a major concern that some banks may be leveraged and exposed to oil price moves. U.S. and Brent oil are down roughly 50 percent since June.   Continuación...