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The Federal Reserve is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate on July 31 for the first time since the financial crisis.
Chinese stocks slipped, Europe was mixed, and US futures gained before the Fed decision. Investors are navigating a minefield of market catalysts.
This was the seventh interest-rate hike since late 2015, when the Federal Reserve first began lifting interest rates from almost zero. It kept borrowing costs that low after the financial crisis to encourage businesses and consumers to spend and grow the economy.
ANALYSIS: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday and released a new batch of economic forecasts that very much reaffirm conventional wisdom among economists about the Republican tax cut plan: it will not do much to boost economic growth.
Yellen also noted the cryptocurrency isn't a "stable store of legal tender."
Futures traders had seen a 100% chance of a rate hike.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates at its December policy meeting, making what it signals about future increases more of the focus.
ANALYSIS: Federal Reserve officials who have expressed beffudlement at the absence of wage growth in spite of a 17-year low jobless rate should take a closer look at the issue of union membership.