S&P 500 slips in volatile trade following Fed

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 was down slightly in choppy trading on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve repeated its promise of support for the economy but projected a 6.5% decline in gross domestic product this year.

In its latest policy statement, the Fed also projected a 9.3% unemployment rate at year’s end.

The S&P 500 and Dow both moved between gains and losses as investors absorbed the news, which included the Fed’s first projections on the economy since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Heading into this meeting we didn’t expect any policy changes. The Fed is committed to keeping current easing measures in place and it acknowledged that risks remain,” said Charlie Ripley, senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management in Minneapolis.

Gains were led by the technology sector .SPLRCT, and the Nasdaq remained up about 1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 106.15 points, or 0.39%, to 27,166.15, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.46 points, or 0.05%, to 3,205.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 95.20 points, or 0.96%, to 10,048.95.

The S&P 500 was off as much as 0.8% before the Fed statement.

The Fed’s pledge to keep monetary policy loose until the U.S. economy is back on track repeats a promise made early in the central bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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