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Stocks fall at midday; investors seek Fed clarity

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September 20, 2013 12:13 PM EST | AP


NEW YORK — The stock market is falling at midday as investors wait for more clarity from the Federal Reserve and look ahead to a budget fight in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62 points to 15,574 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped six points to 1,715. The Nasdaq eased five points to 3,783.

The Fed this week shocked markets by leaving in place its bond-buying program. Fed officials are giving speeches on Friday.

Investors are looking ahead to a budget fight in Washington. To keep the government running, Congress must pass a short-term spending bill before the fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Darden, the parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, fell $2.82, or 6 percent, to $46.50 after reporting lower quarterly profit.