Prior to the Fed decision, stocks were modestly higher and early economic data was uninspiring. Before the bell, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims for the week ended Sept. 8 increased 15,000 to 382,000, up from the previous week's upwardly revised 367,000. Analysts were expecting jobless claims of 369,000.
The four-week moving average was 375,000, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 371,750.
Continuing claims in the week ended Sept. 1 were 3.283 million, a decrease of 49,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3.332 million. Continuing claims were predicted by economists to have fallen to 3.3 million.
Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday that the producer price index for finished goods rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in August, more than the 1.2% that economists were expecting, after advances of 0.3% in July and 0.1% in June. August marks the largest monthly rise since June 2009.The core figure increased 0.2%, as expected, after gaining 0.4% in July. The DAX in Germany lost 0.53% as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that both Germany and France, the biggest eurozone economies, could face softer growth in the months ahead. Italy, China, India and Russia were also on the list of economies that could weaken in coming months. The FTSE in London gained 0.43% on Thursday. A bright spot for the European markets today was the decline of Italian three-year yields to their lowest levels in nearly two years at a sale Thursday, indicating that European Central Bank efforts were bringing results. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index settled down 0.14% and the Nikkei in Japan finished up 0.39%. On the corporate front, Apple (AAPL) shares built on Wednesday's gains after the iconic company unveiled of the iPhone 5 at a media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. Shares popped 2% amid a wave of positive sell-side commentary about the new device, including a number of price target boosts.
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