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Overnight Markets: Wall Street plunges after Fed decision

Apple's shares fell 6.57% after the iPhone maker reported its slowest-ever rise in shipments on Tuesday.

Overnight Markets: Wall Street plunges after Fed decision

Wall Street declined sharply on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve unnerved investors hoping for a strong sign it might scale back future interest rate increases after weeks of sharp swings in global markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.38% at 15,944 points while the S&P 500 lost 1.09% to 1,883. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.18% to 4,468.

In a widely expected decision, the Fed kept interest rates unchanged and said it was “closely monitoring” developments from China to Europe as well as oil for any adverse impact on the US economy. 

Some traders on Wall Street had hoped a stronger indication that policymakers might scale back the pace of future interest rate hikes.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors fell, led by the tech sector's 2.46% descent. Apple's (AAPL.O) shares fell 6.57% after the iPhone maker reported its slowest-ever rise in shipments on Tuesday, while Boeing (BA.N) lost 8.9%, its biggest fall since August 2011.

Textron (TXT.N) slid 13.36% while Tupperware (TUP.N) sank 14.8%. Both companies' revenue missed estimates.

A weaker-than-expected 2016 forecast helped push VMware (VMW.N) shares down 9.82%.

Among the few gainers, Biogen (BIIB.O) rose 5.15% after its profit and revenue beat expectations.

After the bell, Facebook (FB.O) posted fourth-quarter revenue above expectations and its stock rose 4.7%.

In Asia, shares trimmed losses to trade mixed on Thursday in morning session, following a lower finish on Wall Street after the Fed kept its monetary policy unchanged.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.16% after falling as much as 1.01% following market open, while across the Korean Strait, the Kospi slipped 0.30%.

Down Under, the ASX 200 erased losses to trade up 0.53%. Chinese markets opened in negative territory with the main Shanghai composite down 1.33%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was flat.

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