Stocks Opened Lower ahead of Fed Interest Rate Decision

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday as traders await next week’s key decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 38.41 points, or 0.24%, to 16,291.99. The S&P 500 shed 7.02 points, or 0.36%, to 1,945.27. The Nasdaq Composite was down 18.15 points, or 0.38%, to 4,778.10.

The prices charged by U.S. manufacturers, farmers and other producers were unchanged in August, the latest evidence that inflation is tame. The Labor Department said Friday the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, was flat after a 0.2 percent increase in July.

General Electric Co. (GE) said Thursday it has agreed to sell the transportation finance unit of GE Capital to BMO Financial Group (BMO) as the conglomerate continues to shed financial businesses in a quest to increase profits and focus on the industrial side.

A U.K. High Court judge ruled against Pfizer Inc. in a closely watched patent case involving its blockbuster drug Lyrica, leaving generic-drug makers free to sell cheap copycats of the drug.

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