Dow, S&P 500 log back-to-back losses as Fed says economy has 'made progress' from COVID but not enough

The Nasdaq Composite on Wednededay ended solidly higher but the broader market closed weaker as the Federal Reserve signaled that the countdown has begun on scaling back its massive support for the U.S. economy, but a decision still appeared a ways away. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by about 128 points, or 0.4%, at 34,930, the S&P 500 index was virtually flat, but in negative territory, to end at around 4,400. The benchmarks declined for the second straight session. The Nasdaq , meanwhile, closed up 0.7% at roughly 14,762. The Fed kept interest rates at a range between 0% and 0.25%, as expected, and Powell indicated that the central bank was in no immediate rush to scale back on its monthly purchases of $120 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, which the Chairman said would continue until "substantial further progress" was made toward the Fed's goals of low unemployment and inflation reaching 2%. The Fed statement said that the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committe "will continue to assess progress in coming meetings." Meanwhile, the small-capitalization Russell 2000 index finished sharply higher, up around 1.6%, at last check. Separately, the 10-year Treasury note was up 2.4 basis points at 1.259%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Dow, S&P 500 log back-to-back losses as Fed says economy has 'made progress' from COVID but not enough
The Nasdaq Composite on Wednededay ended solidly higher but the broader market closed weaker as the Federal Reserve signaled that the countdown has begun on scaling back its massive support for the U.S. economy, but a decision still appeared a ways away. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by about 128 points, or 0.4%, at 34,930, the S&P 500 index was virtually flat, but in negative territory, to end at around 4,400. The benchmarks declined for the second straight session. The Nasdaq , meanwhile, closed up 0.7% at roughly 14,762. The Fed kept interest rates at a range between 0% and 0.25%, as expected, and Powell indicated that the central bank was in no immediate rush to scale back on its monthly purchases of $120 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, which the Chairman said would continue until "substantial further progress" was made toward the Fed's goals of low unemployment and inflation reaching 2%. The Fed statement said that the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committe "will continue to assess progress in coming meetings." Meanwhile, the small-capitalization Russell 2000 index finished sharply higher, up around 1.6%, at last check. Separately, the 10-year Treasury note was up 2.4 basis points at 1.259%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.