US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower after Fed statement
* S&P 500 coming off two-day rally, near record close
* Fed statement largely as expected
* First Solar jumps after outlook
* Indexes off: Dow 0.19 pct; S&P 500 0.14 pct; Nasdaq 0.17 pct (Adds Fed announcement)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as after the release of the Federal Reserve's policy statement and looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The central bank dropped the U.S. unemployment rate as its definitive yardstick for gauging the economy's strength, and made clear it would rely on a wide range of measures in deciding when to raise interest rates. The Fed also said it would cut its monthly purchases of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to $55 billion, from $65 billion.
"Other areas of the economy are continuing to show signs of gradual improvement, but the Fed was looking for a much stronger economic background before it would start any type of tightening efforts, so it would continue to support liquidity in the marketplace," said Paul Mangus, head of equity research and strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"The one difference I could see early on, of course we want to hear more from the chair in the press conference, was a little bit more information on when and by how much the Fed may increase rates in 2015." Continuación...