US stocks closed down on Wednesday, driven by a sharp decline in the S&P 500 energy sector, after the Federal Reserve said the domestic economy was growing at a solid pace, signaling it remains on track to raise interest rates later this year.
Concluding their first policy-setting meeting of the year, Fed officials said they would be “patient” on raising rates as they looked past the urgent moves made by other central banks this month to boost their struggling economies.
Volume was heavier, with about 7.6 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, above the 7.16 billion average for the month so far, according to BATS Global Markets.
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