NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve brought some much-needed holiday cheer midweek, triggering a three-day rally which saw major indexes jump more than 3% over the past five sessions. The market gains were broad and plentiful after Fed Chair Janet Yellen pledged patience in raising interest rates next year.
The S&P 500 added 0.45%, mere points below its all-time closing high of 2,075 reached early December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 28 points, and the Nasdaq jumped 0.36%.
Energy shares were the star of Friday trading, bouncing back from weeks of losses as oil prices rebounded off of five-year lows. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 4.5% to $56.52 a barrel.
"It's just a reaction to perceptions that economic activity is not as weak as expected," said James Abate, CIO of Centre Funds, in a call. "It's silly to look into things from an intraday or day-to-day basis without looking at a longer trend and the trend is clearly down."
The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) climbed 3.2% with major oilers and oil services companies pulling the sector higher. Chevron (CVX) added 3.5%, Schlumberger (SLB) gained 3.9%, and Kinder Morgan (KMI) jumped 2.5%.
Trading volume was higher than normal Friday on account of the quadruple-witching session, one of four days of the year in which futures and options contracts expire at once. By market close, volume on domestic stock exchanges had exceeded the average 766 million shares traded over the previous four days.