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Stocks finish lower...Fed projects no interest rate hikes this year... Top CEO’s say their economic outlook has weakened

March 20, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks led U.S. stocks mostly lower today after a brief rally sparked by the Federal Reserve’s latest policy update faded. The Fed said it doesn’t plan to raise rates this year. The S&P 500 fell 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,824. The Dow lost 141 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 25,745. And the Nasdaq edged up 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,728. Meanwhile, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 1.4 percent to $59.83 a barrel in New York.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged and projected no rate hikes in 2019, dramatically underscoring its plan to be “patient” about any further increases. The Fed said it was keeping its benchmark rate in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. It also announced that it will stop shrinking its bond portfolio in September, a step that should help hold down long-term interest rates.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. CEOs are reporting that their economic outlook weakened in the first three months of the year, although it remains above its historical average. The Business Roundtable, a lobbying organization of major companies’ chief executives, also said its first-quarter survey of CEOs showed strong support for Congress to create a new national law governing consumer data privacy.

BRUSSELS (AP) —Europe’s antitrust regulators have slapped Google with a big fine for the third time in less than two years. They have ordered the tech giant to pay $1.7 billion for freezing out rivals in the online advertising business. Google says it has already changed its practices. The ruling brings to nearly $10 billion the fines imposed against Google by the European Union.

DENVER (AP) — Frontier Airlines flight attendants have reached a tentative contract deal with the Denver-based budget carrier to replace an agreement negotiated while the company was bankruptcy nearly a decade ago. Both sides agreed to terms for the contract Tuesday, leading the union to call off a planned demonstration today by over 200 flight attendants from 20 airlines in Denver for their annual convention.