US stocks surged Thursday for the second day in a row following Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting as investors brushed aside concerns about another drop in oil prices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 421.28 points (2.43 percent) to 17,778.15.
The broad-based S&P 500 shot up 48.34 (2.40 percent) to 2,061.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 104.08 (2.24 percent) at 4,748.40.
Thursday's gains marked the second day in a row the S&P 500 has risen more than two percent. Such a two-day streak has not happened since 2002.
"I guess the overriding thing is that the market was very happy with the Fed announcement yesterday," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
The US central bank left in place market expectations that it may raise interest rates only in the middle of 2015 and not sooner.
Low said investors were likely also pleased by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's reassurances that sharply lower oil prices are a net-positive for the economy and that economic fallout from struggling Russia is likely to be limited.
US oil prices tumbled more than $2 a barrel following a volatile session. The big drop in oil prices has rattled equity markets for much of December, but investors cast aside those anxieties Thursday.
Many oil-linked stocks rose even as crude prices fell, suggesting some investors believe the sector has bottomed out. Dow member Chevron rose 2.8 percent, Anadarko Petroleum advanced 3.1 percent and oil-services company Weatherford International gained 2.8 percent.
Banking stocks picked up further momentum after the Fed pushed back the time-frame for a new rule intended to limit their high-risk trade.
Dow member Goldman Sachs jumped 3.6 percent and Morgan Stanley rose 3.7 percent after the Fed delayed implementation for two years of that part of the "Volcker rule".
Information-technology giant Oracle bolted 10.2 percent higher as second-quarter earnings translated into 69 cents per share, a cent above analyst expectations.
Other tech stocks were also strong, including Dow members IBM (+3.8 percent) and Microsoft (+3.9 percent). Tech giant Apple soared almost three percent on the Nasdaq.
Packaged food company ConAgra fell 1.4 percent on news that second-quarter net income shrank to $10 million from $248.7 million in the year-ago period following a large charge in its private brands segment, which includes snacks, pasta and retail bakery goods.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.20 percent from 2.15 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.81 percent from 2.75 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.