Stocks on Wall Street initially dropped, then rose but retreated again after the US Federal Reserve kept short-term interest rates at a record low but downgraded its outlook on the economy.
The main indexes finished mixed. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 4.92 points, or 0.05% higher at 10,298.44.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3% at 2254.23 while the S&P 500 index also down 0.3% at 1092.04.
In their statement at the close of its two-day meeting, Fed officials used more tentative language on the strength of the recovery compared to their previous meeting almost two months ago.
They also noted how financial conditions had become less supportive of economic growth because of the European debt crisis.
Ahead of the statement mid-afternoon, stocks had moved into the red after the Commerce Department said May new-home sales tumbled nearly 33% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 homes. Economists expected a drop of nearly 21%.
Other markets: Europe, Asia down
European stocks finished lower as a retreat in Greek bonds revived worries over sovereign debt.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed down 1% at 254.44. The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 1.3% to 5178.52, France's CAC 40 ended 1.7% lower at 3641.79, and Germany's DAX slid 1% to 6204.52.
Asian markets mostly fell as softer commodity prices dragged on material stocks while Chinese steelmakers were hurt by Beijing's decision to scrap an export tax rebate.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.9% to 9923.70, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 skidded 1.6% to 4509.38 and China's Shanghai Composite gave up 0.7% to 2569.87.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.2% to 20,856.61, Korea's Kospi lost 0.3% to 1725.82 and Taiwan's Taiex slid 0.4% to 7582.15.
India's Sensex eased forward 0.04% to 17,755.94 and Singapore's Straits Times slid 0.04% to 2871.05.
Commodities: Oil up, gold down
Crude-oil futures in New York rebounded slightly from earlier steep losses, but remained weak near $US76 a barrel on concerns over near-term oversupply.
August crude-oil futures fell to a low of $US75.17 a barrel, but later traded at $US75.94 a barrel, down 2.5%, or $US1.91 a barrel. Crude hasn't settled below $US76 a barrel since June 14.
Gold futures settled lower as appetite for perceived riskier assets dwindled after disappointing US home sales data.
The most actively traded contract for August delivery ended down $US6, or 0.5%, at $US1234.80 in New York.
Currencies: Euro up, dollar down
The dollar dropped against euro after the Federal Reserve stood pat on ultra-low interest rates and issued a cautious view of the US recovery.
The euro was at $US1.2333, from $US1.2275 late on Tuesday. The dollar was at ¥90.01 from ¥90.37, while the euro was at ¥110.67 from ¥110.93.
The pound was at $US1.4969 from $US1.4808.
Thu, 24 Jun 2010