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Stocks Close Lower as Fed Delays Action on Economy

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Federal Reserve's decision not to take immediate action to stimulate the economy helped drive stocks lower Wednesday.

The Dow closed at 12,976, a loss of 33 points. The Nasdaq lost 19 points, falling to 2,920, while the S&P gave up four points at 1375 as trading drew to a close.

While the Federal Reserve acknowledges that the economy has slowed since the beginning of the year, the Central Bank said Wednesday after its latest two-day policy meeting that it will refrain from taking new steps to help spur economic growth -- at least for now. There had been some hope on Wall Street that the Fed would be more proactive, most likely by buying more government bonds.  Any actions taken by the Federal Reserve before its next meeting in September will depend on a combination of further decline in economic activity and the outcome of a meeting by the Fed's European counterpart.  

Results at the conclusion of the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday may have a larger impact on U.S. markets than Wednesday's Fed decision.  The global markets rallied last week when ECB president Mario Draghi said that he would do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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