U.S. stocks surged on Thursday, extending a Federal Reserve-fueled rally from the previous session and giving the S&P 500 its best two-day advance in three years. The rally follows the Fed’s commitment on Wednesday to take a “patient” approach toward raising interest rates while signaling it was on track to raise rates in 2015, which analysts said provided clarity and relief to investors over the policy outlook.
The Dow jumped 421 points and recorded the best one-day percentage gain since December 2011. The S&P 500 posted its biggest daily percentage gain since January 2013 and is up 4.5 percent for the last two sessions, making for its biggest two-day rise since November 2011. “The anxiety over the Fed meeting has abated for now, with the Fed using that word ‘patient’,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, which is based in Newark, New Jersey. “You had the beginning of the proverbial Santa Claus rally.”
A 3-percent jump in the technology sector also helped Thursday’s advance. Oracle Corp climbed 10.2 percent to $45.35, a day after quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations. Shares of Apple rose 3 percent to $112.65. Before the rally of the last two days, a selloff in oil and energy shares helped pushed the S&P 500 down nearly 5 percent from its most recent record high on Dec. 5.