Stocks Ended Lower after Fed Statement

U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said growth in economic activity has paused in recent months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 44.00 points, or 0.32%, to end at 13,910.42. The S&P 500 index declined 5.88 points, or 0.39%, to 1,501.96. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 11.35 points, or 0.36%, to end at 3,142.31.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will maintain its asset buying of $85 billion a month and stick to its commitment to hold interest rates near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent from the current 7.8 percent.

Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) is looking to sell most of its U.S. feminine hygiene business, as it seeks to exit low- growth areas, but wants to keep its K-Y brand, said three people familiar with the process.

Embattled aircraft manufacturer Boeing (BA) reported quarterly earnings and revenue on Wednesday that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Earnings excluding items fell to $1.28 per share from $1.83 a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $22.38 billion from $19.56 billion during the same period last year.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of 64 million, 3 cents share, compared with a profit of $205 million, or 14 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $1.59 billion from $1.13 billion.

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