NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks surged on Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced a new aggressive mortgage bond- purchasing program to bolster the economy and bring down unemployment rate.
When the market closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 206.51 points, or 1.55 percent, to 13,539.86. The Standard & Poor' s 500 Index soared 23.43 points, or 1.63 percent, to 1,459.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 41.52 points, or 1.33 percent, to 3, 155.83.
As the mortgage bond-buying plan, the third round of the quantitative easing and commonly known as QE3, is even stronger than most investors previously expected, both the Dow and the S&P 500 index hit their highest levels since December 2007 and all 10 S&P big-cap sectors rising more than 1 percent.
According to the statement released by the Federal Open Market Committee after the two-day policy meeting on Thursday, policy makers in the U.S. central bank agreed to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of 40 billion dollars per month.
It is noteworthy that this is the first time that the Fed launched an open-ended, bond-purchasing plan as it said it would continue until economic conditions improve.
Meanwhile, the Fed also decided to continue its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities, known as "Operation Twist," through the end of the year.
These actions, according to the central bank, will together increase the Fed's holdings of longer-term securities by about 85 billion dollars each month through the end of the year, showing the Fed's commitment to push down longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.
In addition, the Fed also decided to keep interest rates at " exceptionally low levels" until mid-2015, instead of the end of 2014 as previously promised.
Mortgage-bond yields dropped to historical lows as the stimulus plan focused on buying mortgage-backed debts, and home-loan rates may also fall to new records.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke showed his determination to curb the unemployment again during the press conference after the statement was released. The unemployment rate has been staying above 8 percent for the last 43 months, and Bernanke earlier described the situation as a "grave concern."
However, some analysts doubt if the Fed stimulus policies would continuously help support the market, for the S&P 500 index has increased 16 percent this year and the gains may be an opportunity for investors to trim positions.
The Fed had launched two rounds of quantitative easing policies since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, and the S&P 500 index has rebounded 116 percent from a low level since March 2009.
"As the Dow rose over 200 points today, I don't think it won't to any further," Chairman of the U.S. investment banking service group Huade International, Alan Valdes told Xinhua.
He said that the effects to the market would not last in the long run because the bond-buying plan would not effectively create jobs and this is the important thing to do to improve the economy.
On the economic front, the U.S. Labor Department announced earlier that the number of people applying for jobless benefits reached 382,000 in the week ending Sept. 8, with a higher-than- expected rise of 15,000 from the previous week.
The department also reported a 1.7 percent rise in producer prices in August, the biggest since June 2009 and mainly caused by higher energy costs.
In other market, the U.S. dollar tumbled on Thursday, hitting multi-month lows against the Japanese yen and the euro. The euro gained to 1.2985 from Wednesday's 1.2894 in New York trading.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery gained 1.30 dollars, or 1.34 percent, to settle at 98.31 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for October delivery climbed 94 cents, or 0.81 percent, to close at 116.90 dollars a barrel.