Stocks extended their rally Tuesday after the Federal Reserve's latest take on the economy raised hopes that the central bank's string of interest rate hikes are coming to an end.

The release of the minutes from the Fed's Open Market Committee Nov. 1 meeting turned the market around, lifting the major indexes out of losses and giving new life to Wall Street's November rally.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51.15, or 0.47 percent, to 10,871.43.

Broader stock indicators also moved higher. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added 6.38, or 0.51 percent, to 1261.23, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 11.89, or 0.53 percent, to 2253.56.

Fed minutes showed that policymakers remained worried that high energy prices would spark widespread inflation -- all but guaranteeing more rate hikes. Yet the Fed also said it would remain sensitive to economic data and conscious of what those rate hikes would do to a slowing economy, which investors treated as a possible signal that the Fed could end rate hikes over the next few months.

If oil continues to rise through the winter heating season, that could combine with interest rates to slow down the economy faster than expected and prevent stocks from continuing their rise through 2006.


Wal-Mart added 58 cents, to $50.20, and Target gained 15 cents, to $55.07, after the National Retail Federation said holiday shopping could be stronger than first forecast this year.

Albertson's said its quarterly earnings, hurt by the Gulf Coast hurricanes, fell 30 percent for the most recent quarter and missed Wall Street's profit forecasts by 6 cents per share. Albertson's fell 6 cents, to $24.60.

Deere, the farm equipment maker, surged $4.40, or 7 percent, to $67.40 even as it saw its fourth-quarter earnings tumble 35 percent amid production cutbacks. The company still beat analysts' profit estimates, and revenue surpassed expectations.

PepsiCo added 97 cents to $59.37 after it said it would buy Sara Lee Corp.'s European nut businesses for approximately $152 million. Sara Lee gained 5 cents, to $18.01.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 38.71, to 7715.35.

American Stock Exchange index rose 11.47, to 1726.92.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 3.59, to 682.55.


NYSE: 2.28 billion shares, up from 2.11 billion on Monday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 3 to 2.

Nasdaq: 1.89 billion shares, up from 1.69 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 11 to 9.


Crude oil for January delivery: $58.84, up $1.14.

Gold for current delivery: $492.60 a troy ounce, up from $489.00 on Monday.