NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks slipped slightly from session highs achieved shortly after the Federal Reserve confirmed it would be "patient" in determining when to raise rates and that a rate hike earlier than the next couple of months was unlikely.
"The committee considers it unlikely to begin the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings," said Fed Chair Janet Yellen in a conference. "This assessment, of course, is completely data dependent."
The Fed kept its previous phrase "considerable time" in the statement but only in saying that its new phrasing is "consistent" with previous language. "This new language does not represent a change in our policy intentions and is fully consistent with our previous guidance," she said, noting the change in language was to better reflect an improving economy and tightening labor market.
Stocks extended gains after rallying on positive sentiment heading into the Fed announcement. The S&P 500 added 1.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 216 points, and the Nasdaq gained 1.4%.
The statement comes at a time of increased volatility in the marketplace against a backdrop of plunging oil prices, softer domestic housing data, weaker economic figures coming out of China, and the Russian economy in freefall.
Crude prices recovered from deep losses suffered earlier after Russian officials said 2015 output would be similar to this year's at 10.6 million barrels a day. West Texas Intermediate was up 3.6% to $57.94, though remaining at nearly half of the mid-summer peak.