News Summary: Stocks plod ahead of Fed statement

News Summary: Stocks plod indecisively, with earnings mixed and Fed statement on the horizon

Associated Press

SUMMER DOLDRUMS: The U.S. stock market was lethargic Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average closed slightly lower, the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed slightly higher, and trading volume was light.

THIS IS GETTING OLD: That was partly because traders weren't eager to make any big moves before the Federal Reserve releases an updated policy statement Wednesday. The central bank has had a powerful effect on the stock market this spring and summer, with traders constantly waiting for, and then trying to parse statements from the Fed about how long it plans to keep up its economic stimulus.

FROM RUSSIA, NO LOVE: The Mosaic Co., maker of a key ingredient in crop fertilizers, was the worst performer on the S&P 500. It plunged $9.15, or 17 percent, to $43.81 after a Russian fertilizer company said it would drop out of a cartel that keeps prices high.

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