US stocks kept rising Wednesday, as investors still focused on U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's cautious stance on interest rate hikes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.55 points, or 0.47 percent, to 17,716.66. The S&P 500 added 8.94 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,063.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 22.67 points, or 0.47 percent, to 4,869.29.
"Given the risks to the outlook, I consider it appropriate for the FOMC to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy," Yellen said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York Tuesday.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the policy-making panel of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank.
Some analysts thought the U.S. central bank is likely to raise interest rates just once this year and no more than twice next year based on Yellen's dovish remarks.
"She began by admonished us that Fed guidance is a 'forecast,' not a 'plan,' meaning it is by no means set in stone," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.
Global stock markets also cheered over Yellen's comments Wednesday. European equities posted solid gains amid a solid recovery in commodity prices. German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange jumped 1.60 percent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index leapt 1.59 percent.
In Asia, China's stocks surged Wednesday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 2.77 percent to close at 3,000.64 points, tracking gains on Wall Street after Yellen's speech.
On the U.S. economic front, the ADP National Employment Report showed Wednesday that the U.S. private sector added more jobs than expected in March, suggestive of a continued improvement in the U.S. labor market.
The ADP data are closely watched as a pre-indicator for the non-farm payrolls report due out Friday.