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Markets Right Now: After a day of wobbling, indexes end down

Last Updated Mar 21, 2018 at 5:02 pm EDT

Trader Jonathan Corpina works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. U.S. stocks are mixed Wednesday morning as investors wait for news on interest rates from the Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

4 p.m.

Major U.S. stock indexes mostly gave up early gains and ended lower as investors absorbed the first Federal Reserve meeting led by new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

After initially surging Wednesday following the Fed’s decision to edge its main interest rate higher, large-company stock indexes gave up those gains, wobbled some more, then ended slightly lower.

Several big technology companies fared poorly. Apple lost 2.3 per cent and Microsoft fell 0.7 per cent.

Small-company stocks fared well, and energy companies rose sharply along with the price of crude oil.

The S&P 500 index edged down 5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,711.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 44 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 24,682. The Nasdaq composite fell 19 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,345.

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2:15 p.m.

Stocks edged higher and bond yields rose after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as expected, and said the economy was continuing to improve.

The Fed said Wednesday it would raise its benchmark short-term interest rate by a quarter point and that it would continue to allow its bond portfolio to shrink. Both steps signal confidence in the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for mortgages and other loans, rose to 2.91 per cent from 2.87 per cent just before the Fed released its statement.

Stocks added slightly to their gains.

The S&P 500 index was up 20 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,736.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 229 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 24,955. The Nasdaq composite climbed 50 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7,413.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are rising on Wall Street as investors wait for news on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is widely expected to raise rates Wednesday, and investors will be watching closely for clues about how many more increases the central bank may make this year.

Energy companies are rising along with the price of oil and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies are climbing.

Homebuilders are up following a report that sales increased in February. Beazer Homes jumped 3.8 per cent.

Cereal maker General Mills plunged 8.4 per cent after cutting its profit forecast.

The S&P 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,728.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 124 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 24,850. The Nasdaq composite climbed 26 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,390.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are mixed in early trading Wall Street, as declines in technology companies and makers of consumer products offset gains elsewhere in the market.

Facebook fell another 2.6 per cent early Wednesday, extending its slump into a third day as the company faces searing criticism for its handling of user data.

Food maker General Mills dropped 8 per cent after lowering its profit forecast and saying rising costs hurt its business. Nordstrom fell 2.8 per cent after the company ended talks with Nordstrom family members about a possible sale.

The S&P 500 index slipped 2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,714.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 24,739. The Nasdaq composite fell 18 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,346.