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NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, giving the S&P 500 its best day since October 2013 as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 288 points, or 1.69 percent, to 17,356.87, the S&P 500 gained 40.14 points, or 2.03 percent, to 2,012.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 96.48 points, or 2.12 percent, to 4,644.31. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Nick Zieminski)