U.S. stocks rally with stimulus, Fed minutes in focus

NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday as Wall Street continued to look for clues concerning additional coronavirus stimulus, while digesting the newly-released minutes from the Federal Reserve's September meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 530.7 points, or 1.91 percent, to 28,303.46. The S&P 500 increased 58.49 points, or 1.74 percent, to 3,419.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 210 points, or 1.88 percent, to 11,364.6.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors advanced, with materials and consumer discretionary up 2.62 percent and 2.47 percent, respectively, leading the gains.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with nine of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

In a tweet late Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump urged Congress to approve support for aid to airlines and other stimulus measures, rekindling market hopes for potential coronavirus relief package.

In regular trading on Tuesday, U.S. equities fell sharply with the Dow closing down more than 370 points after Trump said that he had asked his administration's negotiators to withdraw from COVID-19 relief talks with Democrats until after the presidential election in November.

U.S. Federal Reserve officials expressed concern that the U.S. economy recovery could falter if Congress failed to approve another round of pandemic relief, according to the minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting released Wednesday.

Fed officials believed that while the U.S. economy was recovering, it faced ongoing threats.

"Participants continued to see the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook as very elevated, with the path of the economy highly dependent on the course of the virus; on how individuals, businesses, and public officials responded to it; and on the effectiveness of public health measures to address it," said the minutes.

"The Fed is pleased with the way the recovery is progressing, though it has not progressed nearly far enough to suggest we are close to realizing the Fed's policy goals," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note Wednesday.

"There is still broad support for more fiscal aid, and worry among participants the absence of additional aid could disrupt the economy," said Low.

The Fed last month kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero and signaled to maintain this target range until at least 2023.

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