US stocks flat but Nasdaq outperforms as Fed meets

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In this July 29, 2013, photo, Trader Michael Conlon rushes across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US stock futures rose modestly Tuesday, July 30, 2013, with most investors taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of a two-day Fed policy meeting. AP PHOTO/RICHARD DREW

NEW YORK CITY—US stocks closed mostly flat on Tuesday, except for a solid gain on the Nasdaq, as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.30 (0.01 percent) at 15,523.27.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.82 (0.05 percent) at 1,686.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index solidly outperformed, gaining 17.33 (0.48 percent) at 3,616.47.

The Dow and the S&P 500 drifted in and out of positive territory after Monday’s losses, while the Nasdaq maintained gains throughout the session.

The action came as the Federal Reserve opened a two-day monetary policy meeting expected to provide no new direction but perhaps clues to the Fed’s thinking on winding down massive stimulus.

“Typically, the stock and bond markets are calm during meeting days as traders wait for the Fed’s policy statement, scheduled for release at 2:00 pm (1800 GMT) tomorrow,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at Davidson Companies.

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