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Stocks End Lower Despite Better View From Fed

SARA LEPRO

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Investors were encouraged by the Fed's latest improved assessment of the economy, but not enough to propel the Dow Jones industrial average past 10,000.

Stocks closed lower Wednesday as a brief rally followed the Fed's economic statement and then faded. The Dow came within 82 points of crossing 10,000 for the first time since October, but ended the day with a loss of 81.

Stocks often trade erratically on days when the Fed meets to discuss interest rates, as investors pore over the statement accompanying the Fed's interest rate decision for clues about the economy and what the central bank's next steps might be.

Analysts said there were no surprises from the Fed meeting, though some investors worried that the Fed would pull its supports for the economy too soon.

"I think there is a real concern out there that this is just a head-fake and the stimulus out there is temporary," said Thomas Wilson, managing director of the institutional investments and private client group at Brinker Capital in Berwyn, Pa. He pointed to the Fed's slowing of its purchases of mortgage-backed securities. But he also said "the market got exactly what it was expecting."

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