US. Wednesday afternoon stock prices gave back earlier gains after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by as much as a quarter of a percent from 2.25% to 2.5%, as expected, and lowered the forecast for further interest rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 271 points or 1.2%, the S & P 500 index at 23.395
was decidedly lower, down 1.8% at 6,664. All three stock benchmarks were solidly higher before the release of the Fed's policy statement and the updated outlook. In its updated statement, the Federal Open Market Committee stated: "Some further gradual increases in the target range for the federal fund will go hand in hand with continued expansion of economic activity." FOMC's dot plot or futures hike forecasts by Fed members indicated two rate hikes in 2019, not three. The indices fell back in Whipsaw trading when Powell answered questions during its 14:30 pm. Eastern press conference.
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