Stocks Closed Lower after Fed Meeting

U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and backed off an aggressive stance on future rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 34.65 points, or 0.2%, to 17,640.17. The S&P 500 fell 3.82 points, or 0.2%, to 2,071.50. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 8.62 points, or 0.2%, to 4,834.93.

The Federal Reserve kept U.S. interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and signaled it still planned two hikes this year, although a slowing economic growth path for 2016 and 2017 prompted a downgrade in where the U.S. central bank thought rates would peak.

Oil futures settled lower Wednesday, pressured by concerns over global energy demand following disappointing U.S. economic data and ahead of the U.K. referendum scheduled for next week. July West Texas Intermediate crude fell 48 cents, or 1%, to settle at $48.01 a barrel. The August contract for Brent lost 86 cents, or 1.7%, at $48.97 a barrel.

Bank of America Corp. continues to reduce headcount in the consumer bank, with its top retail executive saying it will slice up to 8,000 jobs over a period of time.

Office Depot/Max has announced plans to hire 8,000 seasonal and regular workers to prepare for what it hopes will be a busy back- to-school season.

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