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Stocks close mostly higher as Fed leaves key rate alone

Trader William McInerney works on the floor

Trader William McInerney works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks closed mostly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged. Technology companies are sliding following weak results from Apple and Twitter. Energy companies are rising with oil prices, and utility and telecommunications companies are moving higher as bond yields fall.

THE CLOSE ON WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 51.2 points, about 0.3 percent, to 18,041.6. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.5 points, about 0.2 percent, to 2,095.2. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 25.1 points, about 0.5 percent, to 4,863.1.

OIL PRICES: The price of crude oil has wavered throughout the day, but it currently trading at its highest price in almost six months. As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil was up $1.22, about 2.8 percent, at $45.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.51, about 3.3 percent, to $47.25 a barrel

THE FED: As expected, the Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at its April meeting. The central bank said the U.S. economy seems to have slowed in the last month, but job market conditions continuing to improve.

The Fed also suggested it is getting less concerned about the effects of the slowing global economy on the United States.

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