Wall Street rallies for 2nd day after Fed rate cut

( Reuters ) - Stocks rose on Wednesday as investors extended a rally a day after the Federal Reserve's bold rate cut, betting that lower borrowing costs would keep the economy from slowing further and boost profits.

Shares of mortgage finance companies, drug makers and manufacturers led the broad-based advance after the Fed cut the benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point, the largest reduction in nearly five years.

Shares of Boeing Co, a company that benefits from lower borrowing costs, gained 1.5 percent to $100.02, while the KBW Mortgage Finance index added 1.7 percent. The stock of Merck & Co. rose 2 percent to $51.56 and ranked among the biggest advancers in both the Dow industrials and the S& P 500.

"The cost of capital just went down. A cut in rates is good for investors. It's good for markets," said Weston Boone, vice president listed trading, Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets, in Baltimore.

The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave a lift to the beleaguered mortgage lending market after it unveiled new rules allowing the companies to buy more subprime home loans. Shares of Fannie and Freddie each rose more than 2 percent.

Energy shares rose as oil prices hit a record on a report showing domestic crude supplies fell more than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 76.17 points, or 0.55 percent, to end at 13,815.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.25 points, or 0.61 percent, at 1,529.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.82 points, or 0.56 percent, to close at 2,666.48.

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