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Stocks drop slightly Wednesday, a day after big selloff

NEW YORK — The stock market turned calm Wednesday, a day after one of its biggest selloffs 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. 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 2,981.70.

"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.

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.

The latest batch of earnings reports wasn't as dire, and there was the occasional piece of encouraging news.

Facebook had its best day since its stock market debut in May. The company said late Tuesday that 14 percent of its advertising revenue came from mobile devices, allaying some investor concerns.

The social network's stock soared $3.73 to $23.23, a jump of 19 percent. Facebook has swung widely since its IPO at $38, and has traded as low as $17.55.

Home builder stocks gained after the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years. Toll Brothers rose 70 cents to $35.25 and D.R. Horton rose 32 cents to $21.41.

Stocks drop slightly Wednesday, a day after big selloff 10/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 10:57pm]
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