US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow edge up as materials, energy stocks gain

jueves 17 de marzo de 2016 11:26 GYT

* U.S. Fed sees 2 rate hikes in 2016

* FedEx soars after raising forecast

* Dow up 0.36 pct, S&P up 0.18 pct, Nasdaq down 0.18 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 17 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow edged up on Thursday as a rise in crude oil lifted the materials and energy stocks, a day after the Federal Reserve's lowered projection of two interest rate hikes in 2016 pushed the S&P to its highest close this year.

The Fed, which left rates unchanged, pointed to moderate U.S. economic growth and strong job gains but cautioned about risks from an uncertain global economy. The central bank had laid out four hikes in 2016 when it raised rates in December.

While markets across assets cheered the move, the central bank's dovish tone raised some concerns about the prospects of the weakness in the global economy impacting the U.S. economy.

Crude prices rose as the dollar weakened and the market pinned its hopes on a plan by major oil producers to freeze output to mitigate a global glut.

"The market is trying to digest exactly what's going on with the Fed," said John Burke, chief executive of Burke Financial Strategies in Iselin, New Jersey.   Continuación...