The Standard & Poor™s 500 Index rallied a second day, wiping out its losses for the year, on speculation central banks will support growth even as the American economy shows signs of strength.

The S&P 500 added 1.6 percent to 2,058.84 at 12:03 p.m. in New York, after rallying 1.2 percent yesterday to halt a five-day selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 285.04 points, or 1.6 percent, to 17,869.56, also erasing its loss for 2015. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 17 percent above the 30-day average for this time of the day.

The S&P 500 has gained 2.8 percent over two days, following the worst start to a year since 2008. The benchmark index has recovered more than half its losses after tumbling 4.2 percent over the previous five days as crude oil plunged below $48 a barrel for the first time since 2009.

Equities rallied yesterday on relief that Federal Reserve minutes signaled no change in interest-rate policy and optimism over employment growth. Most central bank officials agreed their new policy guidance means they are unlikely to raise interest rates before late April and a number expressed concern inflation could remain too low.

The minutes also showed some Fed officials are concerned about risks posed by overseas economies. Policy actions by foreign central banks may help, the minutes said.

Source: Bloomberg