Stocks Give Up Early Gains, Close Down Again

NEW YORK (October 24, 2012)--Stock indexes closed with slight losses Wednesday after giving up modest gains from earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points to close at 13,077 Wednesday, a day after one of its worst drops this year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up four points to end the day at 1,409.

The Nasdaq composite index fell nine points to close at 2,982.

The market began to fade after 2 p.m., when the Federal Reserve repeated its assessment that the U.S. economy still needed help to increase growth and lower unemployment.

The Fed said the economy is improving only moderately and still needs its support to help lower unemployment, but took no new action after a two-day policy meeting.

It wants time to assess whether aggressive steps launched in September will boost growth and job creation.

The central bank says consumer spending was a little stronger, but business investment slowed and also said inflation picked up slightly because of higher energy prices.

Last month the Fed began buying mortgage bonds to try to push long-term interest rates lower and make home buying more affordable.

It also said it plans to keep its benchmark short-term rate near zero through mid-2015.

Netflix plunged 12 percent after slashing its target for full-year subscriber growth.

About four stocks fell for every three that rose on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was average at 3.4 billion shares.

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