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US: Stocks jump after Fed minutes; Nasdaq +1.9%

Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog plans to shutter its antiquated, quarter-century old trading system for penny stocks, while increasing its oversight of over-the-counter (OTC) securities traded elsewhere, according to a regulatory filing - PHOTO: REUTERS

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished with large gains Wednesday after traders viewed new Federal Reserve meeting minutes as a sign the US central bank will remain dovish on monetary policy.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 16,990.47, up 271.08 points (1.62 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 33.51 (1.73 per cent) to 1,968.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index soared 83.39 (1.90 per cent) to 4,468.59.

Minutes from the Fed's September monetary policy meeting were released amid investor concerns that the Fed's plan to shift away from record-low rates in 2015 will harm the economy.

But markets had a "major liftoff" after the minutes, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

Traders were surprised by the Fed's worries over the strong dollar and weak growth overseas, he said.

"Traders' interpretation was that rates are not going to be going up that much or as quickly as maybe people are fearing," James said. - AFP