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NEW YORK REPORT

THE Dow fell for the fourth day and other indexes ended well off the day&rsquo;s highs yesterday after the Federal Reserve reiterated concerns about the economic outlook at the end of its policy meeting.<br /><br />Technology shares sustained some strength, bolstered by stronger-than-expected quarterly results from software maker <strong>Oracle</strong>.<br /><br />The Fed, as expected, left the benchmark fed funds rate at almost zero, and said it would continue its programme of purchasing US government bonds and mortgage-related debt.<br /><br />Stocks pulled back after the Fed did not suggest that it sees any notable recovery any time soon.<br /><br />&ldquo;The Fed is a little more downbeat than the market has been... that they&rsquo;re emphasising the weakness is a touch disappointing to me and to the markets,&rdquo; said Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management.<br /><br />Before the release of the Fed&rsquo;s statement, all three major stock indexes were solidly higher, with the Nasdaq up more than two per cent. Investors were encouraged by a stronger-than-expected report on monthly durable goods orders, pointing to increased demand. <br /><br />The Fed&rsquo;s words on the economic outlook were mixed. It said the economy was likely to remain weak for a time, but the contraction&rsquo;s pace was slowing.