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Dow closes at record 17,156

Investors are waiting Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, for

Investors are waiting Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, for an afternoon announcement from Federal Reserve policymakers on the interest rates. This trader was working at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 24.82 points Wednesday to close at record 17,156.79 after jumping as much as 89 points after the Federal Reserve's said it will keep interest rates low for a "considerable time."

All of the indexes rose after the Fed made its announcement in early afternoon, but then pared gains at the close on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 2.6 points, about 0.1 percent, at 2,001.6. The Nasdaq composite added 9.4 points, about 0.2 percent, to 4,562.2.

In a news conference after the Federal Open Market Committee ended its meeting in Washington, D.C. Chair Janet Yellen Janet Yellen said the pledge is conditional on prospects for the economy.

"The labor market has yet to fully recover," Yellen said at a news conference "There are still too many people who want jobs but can't find them." She added that "inflation has been running below the committee's 2 percent objective."

"Yellen may be a hawk in dove's clothing because she keeps reiterating that economic data can change the pace of rate hikes and the path to normalization," Karyn Cavanaugh, the Manhattan-based senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management, said by phone. "The economy is gaining steam, I think we could see some increase in rates by March or sooner."

Policymakers tapered monthly bond buying to $15 billion in their seventh consecutive $10 billion cut, staying on course to end the program in October. Bond purchases intended to hold down long-term interest rates have swelled the Fed's balance sheet to $4.42 trillion.

Analysts and investors had focused on the phrase "considerable time" as an indication of Fed policymakers intentions on raising interest rates which currently are near zero.

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