NEW YORK, June 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday, with the S&P 500 hitting new all-time intraday and closing highs, as investors cheered dovish remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen following the Fed's two-day policy meeting.
The S&P 500 climbed 14.99 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at a record high of 1,956.98 points, after hitting an all-time intraday high of 1,957.74 points. Utilities, consumer staple and materials led the gains of the S&P 500.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.13 points, or 0.58 percent, to 16,906.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked up 25.60 points, or 0.59 percent, to 4,362. 84.
The major stock indices spiked after the Fed announced another 10-billion-U.S. dollar reduction in its monthly bond purchase to 35 billion dollars, pointing to signs of a strengthening economy after a brutal winter.
The Fed said in a statement issued after the meeting that "a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy remains appropriate, " while lowering its economic growth rate for 2014 from its March projections.
The stock market accelerated jumping after Yellen said at a press conference after the statement that recent pickup in consumer price index is noisy, while emphasizing that the Fed has no set timing whatsoever for interest rate increase.
The U.S. CPI rose 0.4 percent in May following a 0.3-percent increase in April, said the Labor Department Tuesday.
Additionally, the Fed chief also comforted investors by saying that U.S. equity prices appeared to be at historical norms.
Economic data released Wednesday showed that U.S. mortgage applications slumped 9.2 percent last week, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
In corporate news, FedEx shares climbed 6.16 percent to 148.95 dollars after the economic bellwether reported Wednesday earnings of 2.46 dollars a piece per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31 for fiscal 2014 on revenues of 11.8 billion dollars, both of which beat market estimates.
Shares of Amazon.com rose 2.69 percent to close at 334.38 dollars apiece after the e-commerce giant unveiled its first smart phone "Fire Phone" with a 4.7-inch 3D display and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, among other features.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of fear in the market, dropped 12.02 percent to end at 10.61, the lowest in seven years.
In other markets, the dollar fell versus other currencies. In late New York trading, the euro gained to 1.3569 dollars from 1. 3543 dollars of the previous session. The greenback bought 102.09 Japanese yen, lower than 102.16 yen of the previous session.
U.S. oil price dropped as a government report showed that crude inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude contracts, gained last week.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery moved down 39 cents to settle at 105.97 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery gained 81 cents to close at 114.26 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose slightly. The most active gold contract for August delivery rose 70 cents, or 0.06 percent, to settle at 1,272.7 dollars per ounce.