New York • U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, pushing benchmark indexes to fresh records, as data showing weakness in manufacturing fueled bets the Federal Reserve will be in no hurry to scale back stimulus.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.5 percent, to 1,658.78. The benchmark equity gauge has set a record in nine of the past 10 sessions. The Dow Jones industrial average added 60.44 points, or 0.4 percent, to a record 15,275.69. More than 6.5 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges Wednesday, or 3.5 percent above the three-month average.
The central bank's policymakers debated at their April 30-May 1 meeting whether to expand or curb the pace of stimulus. They said they're prepared to increase the $85 billion monthly rate of bond buying in response to changes in the labor market or inflation. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said he would continue unprecedented stimulus until the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent or inflation rises above 2.5 percent.