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Snapshot: With Fed apt to sit tight, Dow sets record

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The Dow hit a record high on expectations the Fed, which is in the middle of a two-day meeting, will keep its stimulus intact. The index also got a boost from IBM; it will buy back $15 billion more of its stock. IBM rose 2.7%, accounting for a quarter of the Dow’s gain. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% to its seventh record high this month. About half of S&P 500 companies have posted third-quarter results; most are doing better than expected. Two weak reports may have encouraged investors by suggesting any slowdown in the Fed’s stimulus could be a ways off: Retail sales fell 0.1% in September, and confidence in the economy fell this month to a 6-month low.

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