Stocks Ended Mostly Lower after Federal Reserve Decision

U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve announced it was holding benchmark interest rates at current levels and signaled no further rate hikes in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.71 points, or 0.55%, to 25,745.67. The S&P 500 lost 8.34 points, or 0.29%, to 2,824.23. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5.02 points, or 0.07%, to 7,728.97.

Oil prices climbed Wednesday to settle at their highest in four months after U.S. government data revealed a nearly 10 million-barrel weekly drop in domestic crude inventories. April West Texas Intermediate crude rose 80 cents, or 1.4%, to end at $59.83 a barrel. May Brent crude added 89 cents, or 1.3%, to $68.50 a barrel.

The Federal Reserve did not raise rates in its meeting Wednesday and dramatically downgraded its expected rate path to signal that no rate hikes are likely in 2019. At the conclusion of its Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed also announced that it will slow the rolloff of its balance sheet in May and then conclude its reduction at the end of September.

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