NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve acted as usual on Wednesday. Its statement, much like others before it, was confusing and said little new as to exactly when the central bank might raise rates.
Still, investors rejoiced as stocks rallied on news that Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues didn't drastically change their conservative tone. The Fed said it would remain "patient" in determining when to raise rates and that a hike earlier than the next couple of months was unlikely.
Gaining momentum into the close, the S&P 500 peaked 2% and the Nasdaq gained 2.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average enjoyed its best day of the year, climbing 287 points.
"The committee considers it unlikely to begin the normalization process for at least the next couple of meetings," said Yellen in a conference. "This assessment, of course, is completely data dependent."
This timeline is as expected, said Wells Fargo's Cameron Hinds. "Market consensus is that they will start to raise rates during the next summer," he said. "Based on the Fed meeting schedule, Chair Yellen saying it's unlikely they will raise rates for the next couple of meetings is in line with that."
The Fed kept its previous phrase "considerable time" in the statement but only in saying that its new phrasing is "consistent" with previous language, noting the change was to better reflect an improving economy and tightening labor market. "They're starting to subtly change the paragraph but there's not a big change," said U.S. Bank's Patty Edwards in a call. "We are the world's largest economy and with everyone else in the world slowing, the last thing they want to do is throw cold water on what we've got going."