US markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday (1 February) after the Federal Reserve (Fed) announced its decision to keep interest rates unchanged and shares of Apple rallied. The major indexes gained less than 1% each, with the Nasdaq composite rising the most at 0.5%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 26.85 points, or 0.1%, to close at 19,890.94. Apple helped offset weaknesses elsewhere in the market, contributing around 50 points to the Dow, according to MarketWatch.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.35 points, or less than 0.1%, to settle at 2,279.22. Seven of the index's 11 main sectors ended lower, with utilities leading decliners after dropping 1.7%. According to MarketWatch, the benchmark index had earlier risen as much as 0.4%.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 27.86 points, or 0.5%, to end at 5,642.64. Tech and healthcare shares helped boost the tech-heavy index, with each advancing 0.7%. Apple beat expectations on Tuesday (31 January) after stronger-than-forecast iPhone sales. The California company gained 6.1% on Wednesday for its biggest one-day jump since 27 July.
"Apple had a terrific report, and the highlight was that iPhone growth was driven by new customers, as opposed to just upgrades. Some of that is no doubt due to Samsung, but customers are sticky for Apple; it tends to keep them," Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at Phoenix Financial Services, told MarketWatch.
As expected, the Fed kept interest rates unchanged. The CME Group's FedWatch tool had market expectations for a rate hike at just 4% ahead of the announcement.
"That was the expectation and they delivered," Jason Thomas, chief economist at AssetMark, told CNBC. "One thing we're sure is that the Fed is going to telegraph its next move. With all the talk about growth...the Fed will have even more pressure to do so."
CNBC reported that the latest report from ADP and Moody's revealed 246,000 jobs were added by private companies in January.
US Treasury yields dropped but managed to trade off season lows, with the two-year yields near 1.22% and the 10-year yields by 2.475%. The US dollar rose 0.2% at 99.72, with the euro near $1.077 and the yen around 113.21.
Oil prices jumped 2%, while gold dropped 0.3% at $1,208.30 an ounce.