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Stocks Up After Fed Nixes
Interest Rate Change

Associated Press
NEW YORK — Stocks pushed higher after the Federal Reserve made it official that it did not change interest rates in its two-day policy meeting, which wound down Wednesday afternoon.

At 3 p.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up up 122.81 at 9,396.93. After recovering from a wobbly morning, the Dow was up 98 points when the announcement came at 2:15 EST that Fed governors had left short-term interest rates unchanged.

The Dow dipped a bit immediately following the announcement, as some investors "sold on the news," but soon resumed climbing.

Stock investors were on Fed watch all morning. Although they didn't really expect it, there was a chance that the Fed would respond to recently robust economic data by raising rates, which would be bad for stocks because it would raise corporate borrowing costs.

But, "our view is that they really have nothing to worry about," Alan Skrainka, chief market strategist at Edward Jones of St. Louis, said in late morning. "This is one of the easiest decisions the Fed has had to make. Even if they change the bias toward tightening, we just remind people that that happened last year before they lowered interest rates twice."

Technology issues were again leaders to the upside, pushing broad-market indexes, where technology names are heavily represented, higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 13.03 at 1,275.02, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 19.03 at 2,482.45.

Advancing issues led decliners by 10 to 9 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 701.63 million shares, up slightly from Tuesday's pace.

Cisco Systems shares were down 1 1/16 at 110 13/16. The company reported earnings late Tuesday that were one penny above analysts' expectations, but Chief Executive John Chambers warned this morning that there is some concern about how the Year 2000 computer issue will affect high-tech spending later in 1999.

But many computer-related stocks were higher, with America Online up 5 3/16 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, shares of Dow component Goodyear Tire and Rubber were up 1 5/8 at 52. The company announced an alliance with Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. and fourth-quarter earnings that matched analysts' expectations. The company also separately announced a worldwide cost-cutting effort that will eliminate up to 2,800 jobs.

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