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US STOCKS CLOSE MIXED, TECH SLUMP BLAMED

US stocks closed mixed as sliding tech giants overshadowed the Federal Reserve's pledge to keep monetary support intact for the foreseeable future, Ben Winck reported for Business Insider.

Central bank policymakers signaled near-zero interest rates would last through 2023 to buttress the US economic recovery. The tech sector dragged major indexes into intraday losses, with mega-caps including Apple and Facebook leading the slump. Retail sales grew by just 0.6% in August, missing the average economist estimate of 1% and marking a slowdown from July's 1.2% growth. Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Wednesday: S&P 500: 3,385.49, down 0.5%; Dow Jones industrial average: 28,032.38, up 0.1% (37 points), and; Nasdaq composite: 11,050.47, down 1.3%. Oil prices increased on reports of US stockpiles falling by 9.5 million barrels last week. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 5.4%, to $40.33 per barrel.


The Federal Open Market Committee elected to hold rates near zero and maintain asset purchases at least at their current pace after their two-day September meeting. Central bank policymakers also signaled near-zero rates would last through 2023. In an update to its forward guidance, the Fed said it "expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy" until maximum employment is achieved and inflation averages 2% over time, according to a Wednesday statement. The stance signals to investors that highly supportive monetary policy will remain in place well into the US economic recovery.


Cloud-data startup Snowflake more than doubled in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company raised roughly $3.4 billion in its debut, making it the largest-ever software initial public offering and biggest IPO of the year. Kodak shares surged after an internal investigation found that stock trades by CEO Jim Continenza around the time the Trump administration disclosed a $765 million loan to the firm didn't violate company rules.



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