Rising US equities fuel profits and new rate statements from the Federal Reserve

Investors boosted US equities on Wednesday after excellent results and Fed remarks. All three benchmark indices gained, with the S&P 500 nearing 5,000.

Fed policymakers said rate reduction aren't imminent but policy changes are anticipated this year. US equities rose on Wednesday as traders digested fourth-quarter profits and central bank policymakers' rate-cut plans.

All three benchmark indexes closed in the green, with the S&P 500 just below 5,000. FactSet data shows that 75% of S&P 500 corporations that have reported profits have topped analysts' projections by 7.3%. Ford, Uber, and Roblox rose after topping earnings predictions this week.

Disney is the latest high-profile earnings release. Post-close profits from the media firm surpassed Wall Street's projections and raised fiscal year guidance. The stock gained 6.7% after-hours.

Investors took on central bankers' latest statements, which looked to bolster interest rate lowering hopes.

Fed Governor Adriana Kugler said rate cuts were needed "at some point," if inflation and the job market cooled. She warned that inflation might halt, keeping rates at their present level.

Boston Fed President Susan Collins predicted rate decreases later this year. I "Seeing sustained, broadening signs of progress should provide the necessary confidence I would need to begin a methodical adjustment to our policy stance," Collins told the Boston Economic Club on Wednesday.

Despite Powell easing March rate reduction predictions earlier in the week, traders are still pricing in strong rate cuts to close the year. According to CME FedWatch, investors expect rates to drop 125 basis points by December at 65%.