NEW YORK, March 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday, boosted by the Federal Reserve's decision to sustain its quantitative easing to bolster the U.S. economy and jobs creation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 55.91 points, or 0.39 percent, to 14,511.73. The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index surged 10.37 points, or 0.67 percent, to 1,558.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.09 points, or 0.78 percent, to 3, 254.19.
The Federal Open Market Committee decided to continue purchasing assets at a pace of 85 billion U.S. dollars per month after a two-day policy meeting, according to a statement released by the Fed Wednesday afternoon.
The Committee also decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent. "Inflation has been running somewhat below the Committee's longer-run objective," the Fed said in the statement.
At a press conference after the meeting, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said he did not see anything to worry about in the current stock prices, easing some concerns about if there was a bubble in the stock market after Wall Street has gone so fast since the start of this year.
On the Cypriot crisis, Bernanke said: "We are not seeing major risk of Cyprus situation to U.S. economy."
Since the beginning of the year, the Dow has increased 10.7 percent, while the S&P 500 has risen 9.3 percent, and the Nasdaq has gone up 7.8 percent.
The market, however, saw some corrections recently when uncertainties arose in Cyprus after the country's parliament rejected a plan to tax on banks deposits, a way in which the government tried to raise as much as 5.8 billion euros in exchange for a 10-billion-euro rescue package.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the euro zone stands ready to assist Cyprus to reform its economy and the European Central Bank also said it would continue to provide emergency liquidity assistance to Cypriot banks within reasonable limits.
In corporate news, FedEx shares tumbled 6.89 percent to 99.13 dollars after the bellwether announced that its profit for its third fiscal quarter ending Feb. 28 declined due to continued weakness in international air freight markets.
Shares of JP Morgan Chase inched down 0.16 percent to 49.12 dollars after the largest U.S. bank by assets had reportedly reached a 546-million-dollar settlement with the trustee liquidating the failed broker-dealer unit of MF Global Holdings.
Anadarko Petroleum shares jumped 3.75 percent to 86.40 dollars after the U.S. oil company had reportedly discovered a " potentially giant" field in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico.
On other markets, the U.S. dollar weakened against most of major currencies as Cyprus is striving to find alternative plans to avoid a default and the Fed maintained its easing monetary policy.
The euro rose to 1.2946 dollars from 1.2874 dollars of the previous session and the British pound climbed to 1.5119 dollars from 1.5101 dollars. The dollar bought 95.90 Japanese yen, compared with 95.10 in the previous session.
Meanwhile, oil prices rose as the Energy Information Administration reported that the crude inventory of the United States unexpectedly declined last week.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose 98 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at 93.5 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While Brent crude for May delivery was up 1. 27 dollars, or 1.2 percent, to close at 108.72 dollars a barrel.