Stocks rally to close higher after Fed decision

STORY: U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, snapping a five-session losing streak, after the Federal Reserve delivered a 75-basis-point interest rate hike.

It was a move many investors - who feared the Fed was behind the curve in its fight with inflation - had hoped for.

But economist Max Wolff, CEO of Systematic Ventures, said the Fed's ability to tame inflation without throwing the economy into recession just got tougher.

"The market had wanted this. The general public seems to want this... But the conversation around the Federal Reserve has become totally unhinged and the Fed doesn't really know how to communicate that... I think what we're setting up is for a lot of people to be angry at the Fed when the ultimate cure for inflation comes - probably in late 2022, early 2023 - and that's our friend recession, which is what happens when you politically overshoot inflation targets. So I think this is a sugar high for the market. But, look, a sugar high is still a high, and it makes sense from a policy perspective."

Stocks were volatile after the announcement, before turning higher after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that either a 50-basis-point hike or a 75-basis-point hike were most likely at the Fed's next meeting in July.

The Dow ended 1% higher. The S&P 500 gained nearly 1.5%, while the Nasdaq surged 2.5%.

This despite earlier data that showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in May as car sales declined amid shortages and record high gas prices pulled spending away from other goods.

Among individual stocks, Citigroup 3.5% as one of the best performers on the S&P 500 banks index, which posted a strong gain after the Fed news.

Steel producer Nucor rose more than 2% after it forecast upbeat current-quarter profit on strong demand for the metal.

And, finally, Boeing surged roughly 9.5% after China Southern Airlines conducted test flights with the 737 MAX for the first time since March, in a sign the jet's return in China could be nearing.

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