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MarketWatch for Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Wednesday, July 31, 2013
If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The Nikkei is down 201 points today in trading in Japan.
The Dow dipped a point Tuesday.
The Nasdaq is up 17.


The Federal Reserve wraps up its two day policy setting meeting this afternoon. Fed chief Ben Bernanke will then address the media in a press conference. Investors are looking to bernanke to offer a timetable for when the Fed will start scaling back its bond buying program. That stimulus plan has helped keep interest rates at near record lows. The Fed has said it will begin to reduce its bond buying later this year if the economy continues to improve.

A government report today is expected to show that the U.S. economy grew at a dismal pace last quarter thanks to big tax increases and steep federal spending cuts. But economists say the second quarter should be the low point for the year. They say improvement in housing and the job market  should push growth higher in the second half of the year.

Churchill Downs is getting a makeover. Churchill officials plan to add nearly 2400 seats and a VIP hospitality lounge as part of a $14.5 million project at the home of the Kentucky Derby.  The new venue is expected to be ready in time for the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks next May.

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