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Stephen McSherry
Trader Stephen McSherry, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Stocks were modestly higher in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday as the Federal Reserve ends its last two-day policy meeting of 2013. Homebuilder stocks rose sharply after the government reported that construction of new homes surged in November. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

US Stocks Soar After Fed Says Economy is Improving



NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are surging after the Federal Reserve decided the economy was strong enough for it to reduce its stimulus efforts.

The Fed voted Wednesday to cut its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, starting in January.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 293 points, or 1.9 percent, to 16,168. The Standard & Poor's 500 index jumped 29 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,810. The Dow and S&P 500 were back at record highs. The Nasdaq composite rose 46 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,070.

Ford slumped 6 percent after issuing a three-year profit forecast that came in short of investors' expectations. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.88 percent.

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