A private survey showed Wednesday that U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that employers added 192,000 jobs in January.
Stocks stayed lower immediately after the Federal Reserve released its statement following the end of its two-day policy meeting.
The central bank took no action following the meeting and is standing behind its aggressive steps to try to reduce unemployment. The Fed said growth "paused" in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost a sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future.
"They did exactly what they were supposed to do, that is not say anything that deviated from what everyone wanted to hear," said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives strategist at TD Ameritrade.Investors will now turn their focus back on to company earnings and Friday's nonfarm employment report, Kinahan said. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, climbed 2 basis points to 2.02 percent. Among other stocks making big moves Wednesday: â¿¿ Chesapeake Energy rose $1.43 to $20.40 after the company said late Tuesday that its embattled CEO Aubrey McClendon will leave the company this spring. â¿¿ Avery Dennison, a packing materials company, rose $2.16 to $38.30 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations and said it was selling two of its business units to CCL industries for $500 million. The company will use the proceeds of the sale to buy back stock and make additional pension contributions. â¿¿ Copano Energy, a natural energy company, rose $4.93 to $38.05 after the company said that it had agreed to be acquired by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners for about $3.2 billion in stock. â¿¿ MeadWestvaco, a packaging company, fell $1.38 to $31.55 after the company reported earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations.