NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks rose sharply for a second day Thursday, following a less hawkish outlook by the Federal Reserve, as revealed by minutes of the last monetary meeting earlier this month, which were published on Wednesday.
"U.S. stocks are rallying as investors viewed both the Fed's minutes as a commitment to only gradual (tightening) policy to fight inflation and after a few retailers provided optimistic outlooks," OANDA analyst Edward Moya told Reuters news agency Thursday.
"The Fed locked itself into delivering a couple half-point rate increases until the Jackson Hole Symposium, and that has removed the risk of aggressive tightening in the short term," Moya added.
The biggest mover was the Nasdaq Composite which rallied 305.91 points or 2.68 percent to 11,740.65.
The Standard and Poor's 500 jumped 79.13 points or 1.99 percent to 4,057.84.
The Dow Jones industrials accelerated 516.91 points or 1.61 percent to 32,367.11.
On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar continued to lose steam. The euro rallied to 1.0724. The British pound firmed to 1.2601. The Japanese yen was slightly higher at 127.08. The Swiss franc gained to 0.9591.
The Canadian dollar was sharply higher at 1.2776. The Australian and New Zealand dollars made minor gains to 0.7095 and 0.6476 respectively.
On overseas equity markets, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 72.96 points or 0.27 percent to 26,604.84.
The Australian All Ordinaries retreated 52.40 points or 0.71 percent to 7,339.30.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 fell 70.53 points or 0.63 percent to 11,102.84.
The Kospi Composite in Seoul, South Korea, edged down 4.77 points or 0.18 percent to 2,612.45.
China's Shanghai Composite, going against the trend, strengthened by 11.58 points or 0.37 percent to 3,119.04.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 55.07 points or 0.27 percent to close Thursday at 20,116.20.
London's FTSE 100 rose 0.56 percent. The Dax in Germany was ahead 1.59 percent. The CAC 40 in Paris, France climbed 1.78 percent.