U.S. Stocks Open Lower Ahead Of Fed Decision

By Anora MahmudovaMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks traded modestly lower Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Investors largely expect a quarter percentage point increase increase in the Fed funds rate, but will closely examine the accompanying statement and Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's comments at the news conference for any clues on the future pace of rate hikes. The main benchmarks were hovering near record levels, with Dow industrials within 125 points of the psychologically important 20,000 level. Market reaction to disappointing retail sales figures and producer prices index data ahead of the opening bell was muted. The S&P 500 was off by a point, or 0.1%, to 2,269. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 21 points, or 0.1%, to 19,893. The Nasdaq Composite began the session down 2 points at 5,462.

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