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US stocks close mixed amid Fed decision

New York, Nov 2 (IANS) US stocks ended mixed as Wall Street digested a monetary policy decision by the US Federal Reserve and awaited a batch of corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday increased 57.77 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 23,435.01, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 rose 4.10 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 2,579.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 11.14 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 6,716.53.

The US Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rates unchanged amid speculation about President Donald Trump’s appointment of next Fed chair.

The US labor market “has continued to strengthen” and economic activity “has been rising at a solid rate” despite hurricane-related disruptions, the Fed’s policy-making committee said in a statement released after its two-day meeting.

Citing past experiences, the central bank said the hurricanes, which hit the Gulf Coast in late August and September, are “unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term.”

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3 per cent in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than the 3.1 per cent in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported last week.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the central bank decided to maintain its target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1.25 per cent.

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