(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note after the Federal Reserve reduced its economic growth projections and decided to extend its stimulus program, disappointing investors who hoped the policy makers may announce another round of quantitative easing.
S&P 500 Index dipped 0.17 percent to finish at 1,355.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.10 percent to end at 12,824.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 0.02 percent to close at 2,930.45.
The Fed reduced their "central tendency" estimate for the U.S. gross domestic product growth between 1.9 percent and 2.4 percent for 2012 from 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent in April. Officials now see the unemployment rate between 8.0 percent and 8.2 percent, up from 7.8 percent to 8.0 percent projected in April. Fed also cut its growth forecasts and raised its estimates for the jobless rate for 2013.
The release of the forecasts follows Fed's plan to extend its "Operation Twist" program of buying longer-term Treasuries and selling shorter maturities to the end of the year. "The continuation of the program should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative," the Federal Open Market Committee said.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is "prepared to to do what is necessary to provide support for the economy."
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PG, ADBE, JBL, RIMM, ATU, IDIX, LZB
In corporate news, Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) retreated 2.93 percent after the consumer-products giant reduced its fourth-quarter earnings and sales forecast, citing market-share softness in developed markets and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) lost 2.74 percent after the San Jose, California-based software company guided third-quarter revenue below Wall Street view.
Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE:JBL) rose 6.85 percent after the maker of electronic parts posted in-line results for the third quarter and backed its 2013 sales guidance.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) fell 3.86 percent. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Blackberry maker has commenced laying off small groups of employees as part its cost-reduction plan.
Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) dropped 3.42 percent after the maker of hydraulic and mechanical devices forecasts more uneven end market demand in 2013, notably in Europe and China.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IDIX) jumped nearly 16 percent after the company announced positive mid-stage trial data of its hepatitis C drug.
La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE: LZB) tumbled 12.64 percent after the maker of reclining chairs reported weaker-than-forecast quarterly revenue amid soft sales at its retail business.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY), Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) report their quarterly results after the markets close.
European markets rose, with Germany's DAX adding 0.45 percent to close at 6,392.13. France's CAC40 advanced 0.28 percent to finish at 3,126.52. U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.64 percent to end at 5,622.29.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.27 percent to end at 2,294.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.53 percent to close at 19,518.85. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.11 percent to end at 8,752.31. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,896.63, up 0.22 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures tumbled 2.71 percent to $81.750 per barrel and natural gas futures lost 1.02 percent to $2.519 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures fell 0.99 percent to $1,607.10 per ounce and silver futures declined 1.44 percent to $27.960 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.02 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2688. The British pound shed 0.09 percent against the greenback to 1.5710, while the dollar gained 0.67 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.4800.