NEW YORK (January 30, 2013)--Stocks closed lower Wednesday after a report that the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, putting the brakes on a January rally that pushed stocks toward record levels.
The Federal Reserve also said Wednesday that growth "paused" in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost the sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points to end at 13,910, its biggest decline in three weeks.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 6 points to close at 1,501.
The Nasdaq composite fell 11 points to close at 3,142.
Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was above average at about 3.7 billion shares.
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