* Fed reduces monthly bond purchases, as expected
* Dow, S&P post gains for month, but Nasdaq down 2 pct
* Twitter hits record intraday low, eBay also down after results
* Indexes: Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct (Updates to close)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, April 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose and the Dow ended at a record high on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the economy’s prospects as it announced another cut to its bond-buying program.
Investors brushed aside data showing weak first-quarter economic growth, which was tied to the severe winter that hampered exports and hit investment spending.
For the month, the Dow and S&P 500 posted slight gains, while the Nasdaq dropped 2 percent following weeks of heavy selling in tech and biotech “momentum” stocks.
The Fed said in a statement it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to $45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the program as soon as October.
That the Fed looked past a dismal reading on first-quarter growth reinforced the view that weather was to blame for the weakness, analysts said.
“They are seeing some economic activity pick up after the slowdown during the winter,” said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati. That “is one positive sign.”
Nine of the 10 S&P 500 sectors ended in the black, led by the economically-sensitive S&P materials sector, up 0.8 percent. Exxon Mobil, up 0.9 percent at $102.41, led gains on the S&P 500.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.47 points or 0.27 percent, to 16,580.84, a record high close.
The S&P 500 gained 5.62 points or 0.3 percent, to 1,883.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.013 points or 0.27 percent, to 4,114.556.
For the month, the Dow was up 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 was up 0.6 percent.
Stocks had initially held near steady following the Fed announcement but soon rose to session highs.
EBay was among the biggest negative influences on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Its shares fell 5 percent to $51.83, a day after it forecast lower-than-expected earnings this quarter.
Twitter shares fell 8.6 percent to $38.97 and hit a record intraday low of $37.25, a day after posting lackluster user and usage growth.
Early in the session, data showed gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the slowest since the fourth quarter of 2012, as exports and inventories weighed, but activity already appears to be bouncing back. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)