The "big" news Tuesday was the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting. The bigger news is the stock market rallied again, despite the Fed's admittance that the economic risks are tilted toward the downside. Or maybe stocks rallied because of it? Either way, it seems the equity market is in one of those periods in which all news is good news. Better-than-expected results after the close from Cisco ( CSCO) are likely to further the momentum on Wednesday, at least in the early going. Tuesday, major averages hit their session highs shortly after the 2:15 p.m. EDT release of the Fed statement . The central bank left rates unchanged, as expected, and traders apparently determined prospects for further rate cuts implied by the risk-assessment statement were yet another reason to buy shares. Stock proxies did fade from those highs but rallied again in the final hour to finish with decent gains. After trading as high as 8641.22 at about 2:45 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.7% to 8588.36. The S&P 500 finished higher by 0.8% to 934.39 vs. its intraday best of 939.61 while the Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.3% to 1523.70 vs. its apex of 1531.80. Trading volume was heavy, with 1.6 billion shares exchanged on the Big Board and 2.1 billion in over-the-counter trading, a 2003 high mark for the Nasdaq. Today's close was the S&P's highest since Dec. 2, 2002, although the index failed to sustain an intraday move above its Jan. 13 intraday peak of 935.06. Preceded by the March highs near 900, those January highs are additional technical obstacles some traders were (and are) awaiting to be surpassed before becoming comfortable with the long side. As reported Monday , some won't be convinced a "new bull market" has begun until the S&P's August highs around 954 are exceeded, while more finicky observers will withhold optimism until the all-time highs above 1500 are breached. Those folks may be technically correct. But the bottom line is a lot of gains will have been left on the proverbial table for anyone waiting for those "confirmation" signals, most especially the all-time highs.