The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee on Wednesday afternoon delivered news investors wanted to hear: no rate increase now and likely fewer than had been planned in the future.
The Fed said It "expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run."
The Fed decided to keep its benchmark rate on federal funds where it is, between .25% and .50% and stated that "monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement in labor market conditions and a return to 2 percent inflation." It cited several factors in its analysis. "Household spending has been increasing at a moderate rate, and the housing sector has improved further," the Fed said. "However, business fixed investment and net exports have been soft. A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market."
Stocks rose, Treasuries fell and the dollar declined on the news. The home builder ETF NYSE:XHB reacted with a 1.3% gain to $32.79.
The Fed statement can be accessed here.