US STOCKS-Wall St pauses ahead of Fed statement

miércoles 16 de marzo de 2016 13:05 GYT

* Fed statement at 2 pm ET

* Core CPI beats expectations

* Dow down 0.15 pct, S&P down 0.14 pct, Nasdaq up 0.02 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street held its collective breath on Wednesday afternoon, awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on monetary policy.

While interest rates are expected to remain unchanged, investors will parse the Fed's commentary for clues on the path of future hikes as the economy begins to show signs of recovery.

Data on Wednesday showed underlying U.S. inflation rose more than expected in February, while the housing market continued to strengthen, bolstering the Fed's case that the economy was strong enough to withstand a gradual increase in rates.

Global markets were little changed, and the dollar rose, ahead of the Fed's statement, due at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT). Chair Janet Yellen is slated to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m.

"We are treading water," said Kim Forrest, research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. "Everyone's waiting for the language to come out from the Fed."   Continuación...