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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on March 11, 2016.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Michael Nagle—Bloomberg via Getty Images

On St. Patrick's Day, the stock market may have benefited from the luck of the Irish, as stocks rose into positive territory for the first time this year.

The Dow closed at 17,481, or 0.32% above where it started the year. The S&P 500, the gauge of the U.S. stock market, moved into positive territory as well Thursday afternoon, Quartz reported, although it ended the day at 2,041, down 0.16%, by 4pm.

Thursday's increase in the stock market may be a result of the Federal Reserve's announcement Wednesday that it would not raise interest rates. It also decreased its projection for how many additional hikes it expected to make this year. Investors may be feeling more confident as the Fed's announcement signals an effort to support the U.S. economy and workers.

The S&P 500 had only increased 0.02% year-to-date until Thursday. Last week marked the fourth consecutive week that the index increased, the longest streak of gains since November, Bloomberg reported. Also in 2016, the gauge has closed above its average price for 200 days, ending its longest stretch below that benchmark since 2011.