Wall Street points higher on modest Fed hike and sentiment

U.S. futures rose modestly Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate while hinting that the end may be near for its economy-chilling policies, according to an Associated Press report.

Futures for the benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.5% before the bell, while the Dow Jones industrials edged up 0.2%.

The Fed raised its key overnight rate by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday, the same size as its last increase, in its campaign to drive down inflation. That effort has been complicated by turmoil in the banking sector, with investors worried that more banks might fail after Silicon Valley Bank’s recent collapse.

The Fed’s move was exactly what Wall Street was expecting. The bigger question was where the Fed is heading next. There, the Fed gave a hint it may not hike rates much more as it assesses the fallout from the banking industry crisis.