Wall Street celebrated the U.S. central bank's first rate hike in nearly a decade. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Utilities and banking stocks climbed to help Wall Street extend its gains after the Fed made its historic move. The central bank lifted its benchmark interest rate by one-quarter percentage point, saying future hikes would be "gradual." It was the first rate increase in 9 years. Fed chair Janet Yellen: SOUNDBITE: JANET YELLEN, CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The committee judged that a modest increase in the federal funds rate target is now appropriate, recognizing that even after this increase monetary policy remains accommodative." IHS's Nariman Behravesh expected this move. SOUNDBITE: NARIMAN BEHRAVESH, CHIEF GLOBAL ECONOMIST, IHS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "These kinds of increases in interest rates are fairly small, and we don't think will be terribly damaging. From that perspective, we don't expect the Fed to get in the way of this expansion." Independent of the Fed, solar stocks continued to shine with a third straight day of gains after the Paris climate agreement. SunEdison and SolarCity led the pack. Valeant Pharmaceuticals cut its profit forecast for this year but sees earnings growing 30 percent in 2016. Shares rose. Honeywell's shares got a lift after the jet engine maker forecast profit rising as much as 10 percent next year. Mixed news on the U.S. economy. Housing starts rebounded and building permits surged in November. But industrial production fell for the third straight month. In Europe, telecom and materials stocks drove shares higher ahead of the Fed decision.