NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied 1 percent on Wednesday, jumping in a volatile session after the Federal Reserve reassured investors that the first interest rate hike would not come before the economy could support it.
Shares were extremely volatile, with the S&P 500 moving between a loss of 0.5 percent and a gain of 1.4 percent. The afternoon’s gains were broad, with nine of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors higher on the day and seven up more than 1 percent. The only sector to decline was telecom, which lost 0.4 percent. The group is considered a defensive play.
The Fed has said that it would not raise rates for a “considerable time,” and in the minutes from its Sept. 16-17 meeting the U.S. central bank expressed concern that this could be interpreted “as a commitment rather than as data dependent.”
“Data dependency is what the Fed is trying to beat into the skull of Mr. Market, and the labor market is still too squishy for the Fed to be raising rates anytime soon,” said Jim O‘Donnell, chief investment officer at Forward in San Francisco, which has $5 billion in assets under management.
The CBOE Volatility index fell 11 percent to 15.34.
With the turn higher, the S&P 500 was 2.5 percent below its record close and the Russell 2000 was 9.8 percent below a record, moving out of the 10 percent threshold that represents a correction.
On the downside, the Philadelphia SE Oil Service index fell 0.5 percent alongside a 1.6 percent drop in the price of crude oil, which at its lows dropped to its lowest level since April 2013. Halliburton Co fell 2.5 percent to $60.12.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 216.62 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,936.01, the S&P 500 gained 25.4 points, or 1.31 percent, to 1,960.5 and the Nasdaq Composite added 63.56 points, or 1.45 percent, to 4,448.76.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,161 to 876, for a 2.47-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,694 issues were rising and 951 falling for a 1.78-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 12 new 52-week highs and 23 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 17 new highs and 260 new lows. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)