Dow adds to slight losses Wednesday as Fed says path of economy next year depends on coronavirus

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U.S. stocks traded off their highest levels of the session on Wednesday, and losses deepened for the Dow, as investors parsed the last policy update of 2020 from the Federal Reserve, which did little to indicate a change of the regime of ultralow interest rates amid the pandemic. The Fed said it was optimistic on the current recovery but noted that the outlook for the economy will hinge on how the U.S. deals with the worst viral outbreak in more than a century. Federal-funds rates were held at a range between 0% and 0.25%, as expected, as Washington tries to hammer out an agreement on another round of financial aid to combat the economic harm from the coronavirus. The central bank increased its GDP forecast but did little to adjust its asset purchases, as had been expected by some Fed watchers. “A big yawn,” is how Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, described the policy update to MarketWatch, immediately after the release. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading of by about 100 points, or 0.3%, lower at 30,104, the S&P 500 index slipped into negative territory at 3,693, while the Nasdaq Composite Index pared its gains, up 0.2% at 12,618. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will host a news conference at 2:30 p.m.
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