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NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 turned positive for the year on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve lowered expectations for the number of interest rate hikes this year.
The dovish stance from the Fed weighed on the U.S. dollar, which in turn boosted commodity prices across the board. The best performing sectors on the S&P 500 on Thursday were materials and energy.
"It's a continued reaction from the Fed's move yesterday," said David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York. "It's a pretty equity-friendly backdrop."
The S&P and Dow were at their highest since Dec. 31 and the Nasdaq hit its highest since Jan. 7.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 185.45 points, or 1.07 percent, to 17,511.21, the S&P 500 gained 16.48 points, or 0.81 percent, to 2,043.7 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.68 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,776.65.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos