Stocks waver ahead of Fed's decision

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors held back from making big moves in the stock market Tuesday as they waited to see if the Federal Reserve might take new actions to stimulate the economy.

The uncertainty has put a big September rally on hold before the central bank's meeting wraps up Tuesday afternoon.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.66, or 0.1 percent, to 10,746.96 in midday trading, a day after closing at a four-month high. The Dow has risen 12 of the past 14 days and is up more than 7 percent for the month.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 2.55, or 0.2 percent, to 1,140.16, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 6.07, or 0.3 percent, to 2,349.76.

Stocks have rallied throughout the month on signs that the economy continues to grow, even though the expansion remains sluggish. In the latest signal, the Commerce Department reported that construction of homes and apartments rose last month to the highest level since April.

Because the U.S. economy is still wobbly, some traders anticipate the Fed might at least hint at restarting programs like buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds to keep borrowing costs low.

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