Stocks fluctuated on a sudden decline in crude oil prices. Trading was already jittery as investors awaited an afternoon announcement on interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The central bank is expected to introduce its second hike of the year. The Energy Information Administration reported a decline in oil inventories over the past week. Domestic crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels, not as steep as expected. Gasoline and distillates stocks both increased. H&R Block Inc. (HRB) was higher following a better-than-expected quarter. The tax preparation firm also hiked its dividend by 9% to 24 cents a share. Hawaiian Holdings Inc. (HA) slumped after rival airline United announced plans to add more flights to the 50th state. Hawaiian was also lower after Stifel downgraded its rating to SELL from HOLD and lowered its price target.
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