Stocks closed lower in a see-saw session Wednesday after the Federal Reserve maintained its current monetary policy but left the door open for additional stimulus should conditions warrant. The Fed said it will continue to hold interest rates low through at least 2014 and continue Operation Twist through the end of the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500and Nasdaqall ended in the red. The Dow fell 32.55 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 12967.13. That was the first close below 13,000 since last Thursday. The S&P 500 lost 4 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 1375.32, while the Nasdaq lost 19.31 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 2920.21.
Travelers led the blue-chip gainers, while Hewlett-Packard fell sharply.
Energy stocks led the S&P sector gainers, while industrials and utilities slumped.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell to slightly below 19.
Although the Federal Reserve disappointed the market by not extending its guidance for low rates further into the future, the central bank said in its statement, "The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed."Page 1 of 5 | Next Page