US STOCKS-Wall St rallies on gradual Fed tightening, improving economy

miércoles 16 de diciembre de 2015 17:16 GYT
 

* Fed raises key rate by 25 basis points

* Utilities sector leads gains, energy lags

* S&P 500 finishes third consecutive day higher

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced it is raising its key policy rate for the first time in nearly a decade in a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy.

Markets judged the Fed's statement to be dovish, supportive of risk assets including equities. Defensive sectors of the market, recently hit in anticipation of the rate hike, were the best performers.

The Fed made clear that the 25-basis point rate hike was a tentative beginning to a "gradual" tightening cycle, and that in deciding its next move it would put a premium on monitoring inflation, which remains mired below target.

"Wrapped in dovish language, the Federal Reserve has just embarked on what will be the loosest tightening in its history," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz in Newport Beach, California.

"The Fed is going out of its way to assure markets that, by embarking on a 'gradual' path, this will not be your traditional interest rate cycle. Instead it will be one remembered as an unusually loose tightening."   Continuación...