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Dow sinks 450 points as stocks fall from records

Stock markets dropped Wednesday morning amid an uncertain week of mixed earnings, an expected Federal Reserve policy decision, and the unusual influence of amateur online traders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 450 points, or 1.5 percent, the S&P 500 slipped 64 points, or 1.7 percent from its recent high point, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 257 points, or 1.9 percent.

This week's earnings results have been mixed, with some companies such as Microsoft beating expectations while Boeing posted a record $11.9 billion loss for 2020.

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The Federal Reserve is expected to unveil its most recent policy outlook Wednesday, though Chairman Jerome Powell has been clear that he expects monetary policy to remain loose for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps most startlingly for traders, the week has seen highly unusual stock swings organized by amateur investors on forums such as Reddit for companies including GameStop and AMC.

Stock exchanges have had to halt trading on GameStop multiple times in recent days as its stock price has swung wildly, climbing over 150 percent and then falling into the red in a single day.