US stocks ended sharply higher on Wednesday after a volatile session as the Federal Reserve gave a vote of confidence in the US economy by signaling a December interest rate hike was still on the table.
S&P financials, which benefit from higher borrowing rates, shot up following the Fed statement and led sector gains.
The financial index ended up 2.4 percent, its biggest percentage gain in seven weeks. The KBW Nasdaq regional bank index jumped 4.1 percent.
S&P utilities, which tend to do worse when interest rates are rising, fell 1.1 percent and led S&P sector declines.
The Fed left rates unchanged, as expected, and, in a direct reference to its next meeting, put a December rate hike firmly in play.
It also downplayed global economic headwinds in its statement.