US stocks end mixed amid Fed statement

New York, April 28 (IANS) US stocks closed mixed as Wall Street assessed the Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged and weak earnings report from tech-giant Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51.23 points on Wednesday, or 0.28 percent, to 18,041.55. The S&P 500 added 3.45 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,095.15, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 25.14 points, or 0.51 percent, to 4,863.14.

The US central bank announced on Wednesday that it will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25-0.5 percent, but gave little clue on the timing of its next rate hike.

The US labor market conditions “have improved further” even as growth in economic activity “appears to have slowed”, the Fed said in a statement after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, noting that it will continue to “closely monitor” inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments.

The Fed currently expects that the US economy will expand “at a moderate pace” and the labor market indicators will “continue to strengthen,” according to the statement.

In corporate news, after Tuesday’s closing bell, Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26, 2016, which showed the first year-over-year slump of both quarterly revenue and profit since 2003 and the first ever drop in iPhone sales.

The tech giant’s shares plummeted 6.26 percent to $97.82 apiece on Wednesday.

On the economic front, the US international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $56.9 billion in March from February’s reading of $62.9 billion, according to the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

–IANS

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