NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve helped fuel a marketwide rally Thursday sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 400-point gain after the central bank assured Wall Street it would be "patient" in determining when to raise rates.
The S&P 500 climbed 2.4% while the Nasdaq added 2.2%. The Dow rocketed 420 points, its largest advance since November 2011.
The Fed's pledge for patience in raising rates on Wednesday infused markets with new vigor on Thursday. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would likely not increase rates for at least the next couple of meetings.
"It's really reconfirmation that they plan on starting to raise rates midway through next year... barring some big setback in either the labor market or the economy," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank, in a call.
The markets and crude oil finally broke apart after weeks in lockstep as stocks soared even as commodity prices continued a steep decline. A bounce in crude oil prices had evaporated by the afternoon with fear resurfacing that the commodity had not yet found a bottom after weeks of steep losses. West Texas Intermediate crude slid 3.5% to $54.51 a barrel.
"It's too soon to call for a bottom but certainly investors with a longer-term strategy are finding a lot of good bargains at this point," said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza over the phone.