Stocks stabilize on Wall Street after a sell-off

NEW YORK (AP) — The steep losses finally stopped Wednesday as the stock market turned calm, a day after one of its biggest sell-offs of the year. Indexes ended with slight losses after the Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy still needs support.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 25.19 points at 13,077.34, a day after one of its worst drops this year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.36 points to close at 1,408.75 while the Nasdaq composite index fell 8.76 points to 2,991.70.

“Today we’re assessing the damage,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Everybody just got clobbered yesterday.”

Lower corporate revenue and expectations for the rest of the year drove the Dow down 243 points Tuesday, its third-biggest drop this year. DuPont, 3M, UPS and Xerox all reported lower sales than a year ago.

The market flitted between small gains and losses for much of the day. Indexes started to fade after 2 p.m., after the Fed repeated its assessment that the U.S. economic recovery remains modest at best.

At the end of its latest two-day meeting, the Fed said the economy is still expanding at just a “moderate pace” and that it needs time to see whether a new bond-buying effort launched in September will spur economic growth and new hiring.

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