U.S. stock indices closed higher in the second session of this year after trading was shut on Monday for the New Year holiday, which follows earlier developments today from the world's largest economy, including the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes of its December 13-14 meeting, at which members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted to increase overnight interest rates by 25 basis points for the first time since December, 2015, when the bank raised them for the first time in a decade from their record zero lows.
The minutes revealed that the data released since the November meeting pointed to strong labor performance, while economic activity expanded moderately since the middle of the year, with labor gains being particularly solid in recent months, as the unemployment rate fell, while members pointed to the moderate growth of household spending, but fixed-rate investments were still fragile, as inflationary pressures rose compared to the start of the year. Members also agreed that Donald Trump's stimulus plans would increase risks of inflation in the coming period.
U.S. president elect Donald Trump has promised to cut taxes and spend more on infrastructure and lessen the regulations on banks, which pushed policymakers to upgrade their forecasts for rate hikes in 2017 to three, compared to two in September, as members also asserted their aim to pave the way for more jobs and to stabilize prices, amid expectations of more expansion for the economic activity and continued growth in the labor sector, and for inflation to rise to 2% in the medium term.
Dow Jones closed up 0.30%, or 60.40 points to 19,942.16, while Standard and Poor's 500 gained 0.57%, or 2,270.75. NASDAQ Composite climbed 0.88%, or 47.92 points to 5,477.00.
Gold futures due on February 14 rose 0.23% to $1,164.70 an ounce form the opening price of $1,162.00, as the dollar index fell 0.69% to 102.50 from the opening of 103.23.
On the other hand, U.S. crude futures due on February 14 rose 0.84% to $53.15 a barrel from the opening of $52.33, while Brent futures due on March 16 rose 1.51% to $56.31 a barrel from the opening price of $55.47.