By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - Stocks on Wall Street extended gains on Wednesday after a widely expected interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Fed raised interest rates and left its monetary policy outlook for the coming years largely unchanged amid steady economic growth and a strong job market.
In a policy statement that marked the end of an era of "accommodative" monetary policy, Fed policymakers lifted the benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent.
The rate-sensitive S&P 500 financial index <.SPSY> was 0.43 percent lower, with bank shares <.BKX> down 0.58 pct.
The S&P 500 utilities index <.SPLRCU> and real estate index <.SPLRCR>, also both sensitive to interest rates, were down 0.16 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively.
The stock market has enjoyed a boom period and is at record levels. But as rates rise, equities face rising competition for investors' funds not only from bonds, but also from cash, which is now the most attractive it has been in about a decade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.32 percent at 26,577.49 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.39 percent to 2,926.96. Ahead of the rate announcement, the S&P 500 was up about 0.26 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.52 percent to 8,049.29.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.18-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 57 new highs and 56 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2018 00:06 AM