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Stocks hold steady on Federal Reserve announcement

Stocks held near record levels Wednesday after wavering in response to the latest economic assessments by the Federal Reserve. July was still the best month for stocks since January.

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A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision by the Federal Reserve, as specialist Jeffrey Berger works at his post, Wednesday. Steady growth in the US economy and higher company earnings helped stocks hold near record levels Wednesday.

Richard Drew/AP

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The stock market was poised to end July with its biggest monthly gain in close to two years after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its commitment to support the economy.

Steady growth in the U.S. economy and higher company earnings also helped the stock market hold near record levels Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose for the seventh day out of the past eight, putting it on track to end the month with its biggest monthly advance since October 2011.

Stocks climbed after the Federal Reserve released its updated policy statement at the end of a two-day meeting. The central bank said it will keep buying $85 billion of bonds to help bolster the economy and slightly downgraded its assessment of the economy's growth in the first half of the year.

 
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