A post-FOMC minutes rally fizzled shortly before the closing
bell, dragging stocks to their longest slump in 13 months. The
markets briefly turned positive in a reversal from the initial
decline that followed release of minutes from the July Federal Open
Markets Committee meeting showing members were "broadly
comfortable" with plans to reduce the central bank's bond-buying
program later this year if conditions warrant. Earlier technology
stocks were trading slightly higher along with shares of
home-builder companies after new data showed a larger-than-expected
rise in existing home sales.
"Almost all committee members agreed that a change in the
purchase program was not yet appropriate," according to minutes of
the July 30-31 policy-setting meeting. "A few members emphasized
the importance of being patient and evaluating additional
information on the economy before deciding on any changes to the
pace of asset purchases.
"Almost all participants confirmed that they were broadly
comfortable" with the committee moderating "the pace of its
securities purchases later this year," the minutes showed.
Earlier, new economic data provided the Fed with more ammunition
to begin their tapering, with the National Association of Realtors
saying sales of previously owned homes jumped 6.5% during July from
the prior month to an annual rate of 5.39 million sales. That beat
the consensus view looking for a 1.3% increase and a 5.15 million
annualized pace. Single-family home sales grew 13.7%.
Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for October delivery fell
$1.26 to settle at $103.85 per barrel. September natural gas was up
2 cents at $3.46 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell $2.30 to
$1370 per ounce while September silver was down 8 cents to $22.97
per ounce. September copper fell 3 cents to $3.31 per pound.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end of day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 105.44 (-0.70%) to
S&P 500 down 9.55 (-0.58%) to 1,642.80
Nasdaq Composite Index down 13.80 (-0.38%) to 3,599.79
Hang Seng Index down 0.69%
Shanghai China Composite up 0.02%
FTSE 100 Index down 0.97%
(+) LOW, Reports 26% gain in Q2 earnings, beating estimates by
(+) INCY, Reports "significant benefits" from its new pancreatic
(+) VE, Morgan Stanley adds the environmental-services company
to its "Best Ideas" list
(-) TGT, Discount retailer reports 13% drop in Q2 profit.
(-) SPLS, Misses earnings estimates by $0.02 per share and
lowers FY13 guidance.
(-) AEO, Q2 profit improves 3%, but Q3 EPS guidance of only
$0.14 to $0.16 trails estimates by at least $0.19 per share.
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