Stocks Rally Almost 2% on Interest Rate Relief

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Federal Reserve to investors: a rise in interest rates will depend on data and not a date. That was the message from the minutes of the Fed's latest meeting, released Wednesday, and it helped drive share prices almost 2 percent higher in very volatile trade.

Federal Reserve officials agreed last month that they would begin raising interest rates only when measures of the economy's health and inflation signaled the time was right, moving away from a specific date or period. The Fed sees inflation remaining low for the next few years. Investors like low interest rates since they keep borrowing costs low for businesses and individuals, encouraging spending and investment."The Fed minutes certainly leave us feeling that they are tiptoeing into the interest hike," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said. The Dow industrials rose more than 270 points, bouncing back from a more than 1 percent drop on Tuesday. The broader S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both rose almost 2 percent.

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-- NBC News staff, CNBC and The Associated Press