NEW YORK, RAW – The S&P 500 has ended little changed after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was still a ways away from considering raising interest rates.

The Nasdaq ended sharply higher, with shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc hitting an all-time high as a surge in advertising spending helped it post record quarterly results.

In a news conference following the release of a new policy statement from the Fed, Powell also said the US job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would be time to pull back from the economic support the US central bank put in place in the spring of 2020 to battle the coronavirus pandemic’s economic shocks.

“It looks like probably the most positive thing for the market was that they are nowhere near increasing interest rates,” said Alan Lancz, president, Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio.

The S&P 500 index reversed slight declines following the Fed’s statement while the Dow pared losses and the Nasdaq added to its gains.

The Fed also kept its overnight benchmark interest rate near zero and left unchanged its bond-buying program.

In its statement that came at the conclusion of its latest two-day policy meeting, the central bank also said that higher inflation remained the result of “transitory factors”.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 128.12 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 34,930.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.82 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,400.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 102.01 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 14,762.58.

Among decliners, Apple Inc eased after if forecast slowing revenue growth.