Markets Mixed as Fed Agrees to Keep Rates Low

The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a small gain on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve indicated it will keep interest rates lower over the next few years. However, the broader market S&P 500 struggled as shares of major tech companies declined.

The 30-stock index retreated from its dizzy heights of earlier in the day and settled for a gain of 36.78 points to 28,032.38.

The S&P 500 moved lower 15.71 points to 3,385.49. Both the Dow and S&P 500 hit their session highs after the Fed’s announcement was released, but they quickly gave back those gains.

The NASDAQ dropped 139.85 points, or 1.3%, to 11,050.47.

Apple dropped nearly 3%. Facebook ended the day down 3.3% and Amazon slid 2.5%. Netflix also fell more than 2%. Alphabet and Microsoft each closed more than 1% lower. A 1.4% gain in Goldman Sachs helped the Dow close positive for the session.

Members of the Fed’s policymaking committee also indicated the overnight rate could stay near zero through 2023 in order to achieve its 2% inflation goal. "With inflation running persistently below this longer run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2% for some time so that inflation averages 2% over time," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s approach, telling reporters in a news conference that easy monetary policy will remain in place "until these outcomes, including maximum employment, are achieved."

In corporate news, one of the hottest initial public offerings of 2020 opened for trading on Wednesday. Data storage software company Snowflake surged more than 100% in its public-market debut. The IPO was priced at $120 per share.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were lower. raising yields to 0.70% from Tuesday’s 0.68%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices increased $1.91 to $40.19 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices dipped 30 cents to $1,965.90 U.S. an ounce.