US STOCKS-Wall St rises slightly after Fed statement

miércoles 18 de junio de 2014 15:01 GYT

* Fed cuts 2014 growth forecast, still confident about recovery

* Amazon CEO Bezos unveils "Fire" smartphone; stock climbs

* FedEx shares hit all-time high after quarterly profit

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.3 pct; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct (Updates with Fed minutes)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest-rate increases starting next year, but suggested that rates in the long run would be lower than the central bank had previously indicated.

The Fed, after a two-day policy meeting, slashed its forecast for U.S. economic growth this year but expressed confidence that the recovery was largely on track. The U.S. central bank cut the 2014 economic growth forecast to a range of between 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent from around 2.9 percent. The Fed also cut its monthly bond purchases to $35 billion a month, a reduction of $10 billion, as widely expected, in connection with its plans to wind down one of its main stimulus programs by the end of the year.

"The decision confirms that a steady-as-she-goes Federal Reserve will complete its quantitative easing exit later this year, but still have to rely more on forward policy guidance due to remaining growth and jobs challenges," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE in Newport Beach, California.

"Remaining growth and jobs challenges involve achieving economic lift-off that materially reduces long-term unemployment," El-Erian added.   Continuación...