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Stocks fall at midday; investors seek Fed clarity

Friday - 9/20/2013, 12:17pm  ET

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, Trader F. Hill Creekmore works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets fell Friday Sept. 20, 2013, two days after the Fed announced it would keep its unprecedented stimulus in place. Public holidays kept trading muted in Asia. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market is falling at midday as investors wait for more clarity from the Federal Reserve and look ahead to a budget fight in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62 points to 15,574 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped six points to 1,715. The Nasdaq eased five points to 3,783.

The Fed this week shocked markets by leaving in place its bond-buying program. Fed officials are giving speeches on Friday.

Investors are looking ahead to a budget fight in Washington. To keep the government running, Congress must pass a short-term spending bill before the fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Darden, the parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, fell $2.82, or 6 percent, to $46.50 after reporting lower quarterly profit.


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