U.S. Stocks Hold Modest Gains As Fed Stands Pat On Interest Rates

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks retained modest gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates as widely anticipated. "Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed while growth in economic activity appears to have picked up," said the Fed in a statement. The central bank, however, cut its 2016 economic growth outlook to 2% from 2.2% while the "dot plot" suggested two rate increases this year. The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.4%, to 2,083. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 69 points, or 0.4%, to 17,744 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 21 points, or 0.5% to 4,866. The Fed was expected to leave rates unchanged due to global uncertainties, particularly ahead of the June 23 referendum in the U.K. on the country's membership in the European Union.

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