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Stocks move lower ahead of Federal Reserve policy decision

Published: Updated:

US stocks fell broadly in midday trading on Wall Street on Wednesday ahead of the latest interest rate policy decision by the Federal Reserve.

Health care and technology companies led the market lower as investors favored safer holdings in the utilities and real estate sectors. Microsoft and Apple edged lower, dragging other technology stocks down with them.

Johnson & Johnson fell 1 percent and UnitedHealth Group fell 2.2 percent, weighing down their peers in the health care industry.

The market closed on a soft note on Tuesday, ending a weeklong rally. The market is still off to a roaring start to the year. The S&P 500 index is up 12.6 percent so far in 2019. That’s better than the full-year gains for the benchmark index in four of the past five years.

Investors are looking ahead to comments from the Federal Reserve after its latest two-day meeting. The central bank has signaled that it will be “patient” in raising interest rates as it weighs a dimmer economic picture globally.

Bond prices rose ahead of the Fed announcement. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.59 percent.