Dow holds gains after Fed holds interest rates steady as expected but signals near 0% for foreseeable future

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U.S. stocks mostly rose on Wednesday afternoon after the Federal Reserve released an updated economic outlook that suggested that it would keep interest rates at uber-low levels even as it sees gross domestic product improving from coronavirus lows in the coming months. The Dow was up 222 points, or 0.8%, at 28,227, the S&P 500 index gained 0.4% at 3,414, while the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 0.2% at 11,169. The Fed said it doesn’t expect to raise rates until the end of 2023 at the earliest and set out new economic conditions that must be met before it will raise them. In a surprise decision, the Fed said it decided to keep rates near 0% and expects this will be appropriate until two things happen: labor market conditions return to the “maximum employment” and inflation has risen to 2% and “is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.” Most economists thought the Fed would hold off on its forward guidance until November or December. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
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