NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are hardly moving Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. Investors didn't expect rates to rise, but stocks remained in a holding pattern until after the decision was announced. Apple jumped to its highest price in more than a year after it said iPhone sales improved in its latest quarter.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,897 as of 2:33 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 remained at 2,279. The Nasdaq composite added 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,640. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks held steady at 1,361.
APPLE'S CORE: Apple is heading toward its biggest daily jump in almost three years after it said consumers snapped up its new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus over the last three months. That ended the first-ever slump in iPhone sales, and Apple's first-quarter results were stronger than analysts expected. Its stock rose $8.62, or 7.1 percent, to $129.97, its highest price in about 18 months. The big gains for Apple, the world's most valuable publicly-traded company, took technology stocks higher.
Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices also climbed $1.56, or 15 percent, to $11.93. AMD reported a profit when analysts expected a loss, and its sales were greater than expected.
FED STANDS PAT: The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged, just as investors expected. The central bank noted that the job market is getting stronger and inflation is gradually rising, but said it wants more time to monitor the economy.
THE QUOTE: Investors had assumed rates would stay the same this month. Kate Warne, an investment strategist for Edward Jones, noted that the central bank just increased rates in December and the Trump administration's spending and fiscal plans still haven't been spelled out.
"They'll wait until they actually know what's going to happen," she said of the Fed.
JOB GAINS: A survey showed private U.S. employers hired new workers at a faster pace in January, a sign that the economy could be getting stronger. The hiring was greater than expected, and the construction, manufacturing, health care and shipping industries all adding jobs at a solid pace.
The U.S. government will release its own monthly jobs report Friday.
"Economic growth appears to be strengthening even though fourth-quarter growth came in weak," said Warne, of Edward Jones.
BONDS: Investors reacted to the hiring report by selling government bonds, which are relatively safe investments that are in greater demand when the economy seems weaker.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 2.47 percent from 2.44 percent. Financial stocks rose, as higher interest rates allow banks to charge more money for lending. Lincoln National climbed $1.48, or 2.2 percent, to $68.99 and JPMorgan Chase rose 72 cents to $85.35.
Stocks that pay large dividends traded lower as bond yields rose. Dominion Resources dropped $4.26, or 5.6 percent, to $72 after a weak quarterly report.
ENERGY: Oil prices stayed within a small range. U.S. crude added $1.07, or 2 percent, to close at $53.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained $1.12, or 2 percent, to $56.70 a barrel in London. U.S. oil has stayed between roughly $52 and $55 a barrel for the last two months.
The S&P 500's energy company index is on track to fall for the fifth day in a row. It's down 3 percent over that time and has sunk 7 percent since Dec. 13.
ALUMINUM ACTIVISM: Lightweight aluminum products maker Arconic surged after its largest shareholder said the company needs new leadership. Elliott Management nominated five potential directors to Arconic's board. The company said it stands by CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and that Elliott's moves are not in the best interest of all shareholders.
Since Arconic split from Alcoa on Nov. 1, Arconic stock is almost flat and Alcoa has jumped more than 60 percent. Arconic gained $2.48, or 10.9 percent, to $25.22.
CURRENCIES: The dollar gained strength after the jobs survey. It rose to 113.30 yen from 112.76 yen. The euro fell to $1.0755 from $1.0803.
METALS: The price of gold slipped $3.10 to $1,208.30 an ounce. Silver lost 9 cents to $17.45 an ounce. Copper fell 2 cents to $2.71 1 pound.
OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe got a boost from the ADP survey and a report that said manufacturing in China grew at its fastest pace in two years in January. Heavy government spending and more lending by banks helped keep the economy steady. Germany's DAX added 1.1 percent while the CAC 40 of France rose 1 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain picked up 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent after a skid on Tuesday. The Kospi in South Korea jumped 0.6 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent.