NEW YORK, March 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended higher for the week after wavering between gains and losses, as investors digested Federal Reserve's latest decision to raise interest rates as well as a batch of economic data from the country.
In a weekly basis, all three major indices witnessed modest gains, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq going up 0.1 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
The U.S. central bank on Wednesday raised interest rates for the third time since the 2008 global financial crisis, with the job market strengthening and inflation rising toward its target.
"In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation," the Fed decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.75-1.0 percent, the Fed's policy-making committee said in a statement released after its two-day meeting.
"Our decision to make another gradual reduction in the amount of policy accommodation reflects the economy's continued progress," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said of the rate hike on Wednesday at a press conference. "The simple message is the economy is doing well."
On the economic front, U.S. total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, well above market consensus of 188,000, the Labor Department announced Friday. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers increased 0.1 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with market consensus, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The index for all items less food and energy (core CPI) increased 0.2 percent in February, which rose 2.2 percent over the past 12 months.
U.S. industrial production was unchanged in February following a 0.1 percent decrease in January, the Federal Reserve reported on Friday. In February, manufacturing output moved up 0.5 percent for its sixth consecutive monthly increase.