Stocks end mixed after Fed holds rates steady

A rally boosted by strong earnings from some Dow heavyweights Wednesday faded after the Federal Reserve's policy announcement. The Fed kept rates steady but downgraded its views on household spending. The major indexes closed flat.

Invesco chief global market strategist, Kristina Hooper:


"We got some nice earnings surprises and that really fueled things. But we can't overlook the fact that the dominant factor moving stocks is the Fed, and the Fed remains very accommodative."

Apple shares extended their rally. Rising sales of iPhones and strong demand for accessories like AirPods boosted sales and profits in the holiday shopping quarter. Apple gave a wide range for its revenue forecast owing to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus in China.

Boeing shares rose. The struggling plane maker forecast the grounding of its 737 MAX jets would cost nearly $19 billion, but that was smaller than what analysts had expected.

Shares of General Electric jumped. Strong performance by its aviation unit helped lift the industrial conglomerate's quarterly profit and cash flow above Wall Street's targets.

After the bell, shares of Microsoft rose. Strong performance by its cloud business helped drive quarterly revenue up nearly 14%. But Facebook dropped sharply. The social network gained daily active users, but costs and expenses surged.