US stocks rise on dovish Fed minutes

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Wall St rallied as investors saw further signs of dovishness in the Federal Reserve September meeting minutes.

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks rose Thursday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes lifted confidence the US central bank would not move quickly to hike interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 138.46 points (0.82 per cent) to 17,050.75.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 17.60 (0.88 per cent) to 2,013.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 19.64 (0.41 per cent) to 4,810.79.

Minutes from the Fed's Sept 16-17 meeting emphasised policy maker concerns about the slowing global economy, led by China, and the drag of the stronger dollar on the US.

The Fed decided at that meeting against hiking rates.

The minutes "were certainly not suggesting the Fed may raise its rates anytime soon and reminded that the Fed is cognizant of the challenges around the world," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

Leading petroleum-linked stocks rose as US oil prices closed at an 11-week high. Dow member Chevron added 2 per cent, Apache picked up 2.7 per cent and oil-services company Schlumbeger gained 1.7 per cent.

Software and data storage company EMC rose 4.7 per cent on a Wall Street Journal report it is in advanced talks to be acquired for privately-held Dell for about US$50 billion (S$70 billion).

Netflix jumped 6.4 per cent on news it was hiking the price of its most popular streaming subscription plan by US$1 to US$9.99 in the US and some other markets.

Amazon fell 1.6 per cent after launching an online shop showcasing handmade goods sold directly by artisans.

Other online retailers active in handmade goods Etsy and eBay fell 4.3 per cent and 6 per cent.

BioMed Reality Trust climbed 8.6 per cent on news it agreed to be acquired by Blackstone for about US$8 billion. Blackstone dropped 2 per cent.

Domino's Pizza lost 5 per cent after third-quarter net income came in at 67 cents per share, seven cents below analyst expectations.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.1 per cent from 2.06 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.94 per cent from 2.89 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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