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FILE - Marble sculptures occupy the pediment above the New York Stock Exchange signage, Tuesday Aug. 25, 2020, in New York. Stocks are pushing further into record heights on Wall Street Thursday, after the Federal Reserve made a major overhaul to its strategy, one that could keep interest rates lower for longer. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The S&P 500 ticked further into record territory on Thursday after the Federal Reserve made a major overhaul to its strategy, one that could keep interest rates low for longer.

The benchmark index rose 0.2%, to another all-time high, but it veered through a jumbled day of trading to get there. Prices for stocks, bonds and gold all made several U-turns after Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave a highly anticipated speech. In it, he essentially said the Fed may continue efforts to prop up the economy even if inflation rises above its target level of 2%, as long as it had been weak before then.

The change in the Fed's strategy is a huge deal for markets. The central bank has been the superhero repeatedly rescuing them from crises through the years, by slashing short-term interest rates and buying all kinds of bonds. The momentous announcement was widely expected on Wall Street, if not on Thursday then later this year, but trading was nevertheless erratic following it.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 160.35 points, or 0.6%, to 28,492.27 after fading back from an earlier gain of 302 points. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, fell 39.72 points, or 0.3%, to 11,625.34 after paring an earlier loss of 1%.

The benchmark S&P 500 gained 5.82 points to 3,484.55 to set a closing record for the fifth straight day. It's surged nearly 56% since late March after the immense support of the Fed helped halt its earlier free-fall and erase its pandemic losses. Low rates often act like steroids for stocks, allowing their prices to rise faster than corporate profits.

"The era of easy money is here," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial.

Treasury yields fell immediately after Powell began talking, but then started bouncing up and down. The yield of the 10-year Treasury was at 0.74% after stocks stopped trading on Wall Street, up from 0.68% late Wednesday. The 30-year yield climbed to 1.50% from 1.41%.

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