Stocks End Slightly Higher After Fed Meeting

Wall Street managed a tiny gain Wednesday, enough to give the Dow Jones industrial average another record close, after the Federal Reserve stoked some fears of inflation pressures but implied that it's not intent on raising interest rates.

The Fed's Open Market Committee kept the nation's benchmark rate unchanged at 5.25 percent for a third straight meeting, but it noted that recent readings on inflation have moved higher recently. Stocks waffled after the Fed's decision was released as investors and analysts pored over the committee's accompanying policy statement, but the market edged up at the close.

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There may have been some disappointment on Wall Street because "it's not a sign that the Fed is going to be cutting rates anytime soon," said Drew Matus, senior economist at Lehman Brothers.

Still, the market held up well. There were really few, if any, surprises in the Fed's statement, and stocks had already fallen earlier in the session as oil prices rose sharply.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 6.80, or 0.06 percent, to 12,134.68. After the Fed announcement, the Dow reach another new trading high of 12,147.97 before pulling back; it set new trading and closing records the previous session.

Broader stock indicators also moved higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.84, or 0.35 percent, 1,382.22, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 11.75, or 0.50 percent, to 2,356.59.

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