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US: Stocks flat ahead of Fed announcement

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks were little changed in opening trade Wednesday ahead of a Federal Reserve policy announcement that is expected to result in an interest rate hike.

Analysts will be assessing the Fed statement and commentary from Fed Chair Janet Yellen's news conference as far as signals about future interest rate increases. Suggestions of more than two hikes in 2017 could rattle the market, said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

US data were mixed, with retail sales edging up 0.1 per cent in November, a slower pace than expected.

However, US wholesale inflation rose significantly during the same month, with final demand producer price index growing 0.4 per cent.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 19,905.14, down less than 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 was down a hair at 2,271.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 per cent at 5,470.78.


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