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U.S. Indices Close Mixed as Fed Readies to Reduce Balance Sheet

U.S. indices closed mixed after the Federal Reserve keeps federal funds rates unchanged and prepares to reduce the balance sheet.

Stocks fluctuated on Wednesday following a hawkish message from the Federal Reserve. The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at record highs, while the Nasdaq finished in the red after the Fed said it would begin unwinding its balance sheet in October and left the federal funds rate unchanged.

FedEx Corp. (FDX) was higher even though the shipping giant posted fiscal first-quarter earnings below analysts' expectations, blaming the miss on the TNT Express cyberattack and Hurricane Harvey. Adjusted first-quarter earnings for FedEx were $2.51 a share, below Wall Street estimates of $3.09. The company also lowered its adjusted earnings forecast for fiscal 2018.

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) shares fell despite posting fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates. Net income in the quarter was 84 cents a share, up from 54 cents a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were $1.10 a share, topping forecasts of $1.01. Revenue rose to $1.84 billion; beating analysts' estimates of $1.82 billion. But the company's experienced a shortfall in revenue for its cloud division. Adobe warned that some of its larger deals for its cloud service were taking longer to close.

Finally, shares of Ford Motor Co. (F)  were in focus after the automaker announced plans to trim production at five North American assembly plants through the rest of 2017 as demand for new vehicles in the U.S. slips.

Ford plans a two-week shutdown at its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, which makes the Mustang and Lincoln Continental, and a one-week shutdown at its Michigan Assembly Plant, which makes the Focus and C-Max small cars. The automaker also plans to idle Transit van production at its Kansas City, Missouri, plant for two weeks. The company also plans shutdowns of up to three weeks at two plants in Mexico.

U.S. sales at Ford have declined 4% through August compared with the same period a year ago

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