U.S. stocks closed mixed Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's rate hike decision and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's press conference. ( Tweet This )
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed lower, while the Nasdaq Composite eked out mild gains. The major indices gave back an intraday spike of more than 1 percent, amid Yellen's press conference.
Stocks initially fluctuated between slight gains and losses in the minutes after the Fed statement showed the central bank kept interest rates unchanged.
"I think the stock market would like the Fed to have a statement with a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. I think they were a little surprised. I think the stock market is a little confused right now. I don't think this statement removed much uncertainty," said John Bredemus, vice president, Allianz Investment Management. "I think the uncertainty is around whether the U.S. economy can continue to grow given the weakness in the global economy."
It's "yet another Fed meeting and another punt. Investors will have to deal with the uncertainty of when a rate hike is going to occur," said Mike Baele, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.
The Dow closed down 65 points after rising as much as 193.48 points in late afternoon trade.
The S&P 500 failed hold above the 2,000-level after hitting it in the hour before the statement release, the first touch since Aug. 21. Some analysts had expected the Fed would raise rates if the S&P topped 2,000.
"Really what happens tomorrow will be critical of what the market thinks the Fed said today," said Lance Roberts, head of Streettalklive.com