Stocks retreated from new record highs for the Dow Industrials
and S&P 500 after a Federal Reserve official known for his
hawkish views endorsed an end to the central bank's quantitative
easing. The head of the New York Fed perhaps unintentionally also
fueled the afternoon selloff, saying he's seeing signs of an
improving U.S. economy - re-igniting worries among investors the
Fed could soon shut down its stimulus programs. Late market chatter
also centered on comments from activist investor Carl Icahn who, at
a Reuters event, reportedly expressed concern for stock level
Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser told a Risk
Management Association audience today that he expects the central
bank will begin to taper its bond-buying program yet this year in
anticipation of the economy reaching a 3% growth rate and 6.25%
jobless rate by the end of next year. He also said the Fed should
clearly detail its future bond purchases and then quit when that
target is reached.
Plosser currently is not a voting member on the Federal Open
Markets but will re-join the policy-setting panel in January.
And while Plosser hawkish view were not unexpected, New York Fed
President William Dudley - a permanent FOMC member - surprised Wall
Street with comments today he was "getting more hopeful" for the
U.S. economy, pointing to better-than-expected hiring last month
and improved Gross Domestic Product during the latest quarter.
Despite the rosy assessment, however, Dudley said he expects the
Fed will maintain a "very accommodative" monetary policy "for a
considerable period of time."
Earlier, the Dow Industrials pushed above 16,000 for the first
time, led by gains for Boeing (
) and financial stocks, while Abercrombie & Fitch (
) and Tyson (
) helped advance the S&P 500 past 1,800.
It was a light day for economic data, with the National
Association of Home Builders today saying its housing market index
declined a single point to a 54 reading in November, trailing
market consensus expecting the industry group's housing gauge to
remain unchanged from the prior month at 55.
Commodities ended lower, providing considerable drag on
equities. Crude oil for December delivery settled 81 cents lower at
93.03 a barrel while November natural gas slid 4 cents to finish at
$3.61 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell $15.10 to $1272.40 per
ounce while December silver fell $0.39 to $20.35 per ounce.
December copper fell 2 cents to $3.15 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood at end-of -day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 14.32 (+0.09%) to 15,976.02
S&P 500 down 6.65 (-0.37%) to 1,791.53
Nasdaq Composite Index down 36.90 (-0.93%) to 3,949.07
Hang Seng Index up 2.73%
Shanghai China Composite Index up 2.87%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.45%
(+) CXM, Cell-nique Corporation has acquired CXM's To Go Brands
assets for approximately $2.5 million through an exchange of a
preferred equity position in Healthy Brands.
(+) CEMP, The company's drug solithromycin (CEM-101) may provide
an effective antimicrobial approach for the prevention and
treatment of intrauterine infections during pregnancy.
(+) DHRM, Dehaier Medical won a $918,000 medical equipment
procurement contract in China.
(-) MZOR, The company reported a non-GAAP loss of $3.1 million,
or $0.09 per share, compared to break even in Q3 2012. Revenues
were $3.1 million compared to $4.1 million in the same period last
(-) FB, Social-networking stocks are lower on Walter Isaacson's
comment on CNBC about a bubble within the sector