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U.S. equities were able to climb off their lows of the day, but stocks finished lower following a day full of data and surprising events. The midday tumble came courtesy of a surprise from the Fed following its policy meeting, where the central bank sharply increased its inflation expectations and pulled forward its forecast of when interest rates could begin to rise. Beforehand, investors sifted through another mixed bag of economic data that showed disappointing housing construction numbers, a rise in mortgage applications, and more data indicating a heat up in pricing pressures. Treasuries fell following the Fed meeting and the U.S. dollar finished solidly higher, while gold tumbled and crude oil prices were nearly flat. On the equity front, Oracle topped Q4 earnings estimates but offered disappointing Q1 guidance, General Motors upped its investment in electric vehicles, and Citigroup was the latest bank to warn of lower trading revenues in Q2. Markets in Europe and Asia finished mixed amid cautious trading ahead of the Fed's decision.
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