U.S. stocks dip on Fed stimulus uncertainty; Dow slips 0.33%


Investing.com - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as amid growing uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will announce plans to taper the pace of its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which have support equity prices for over a year.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.33%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.32%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.20%.

A surprisingly strong November jobs report sparked talk the Federal Reserve may announce plans to taper the pace of its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases at its Dec. 17-18 monetary policy meeting.

Friday data revealed that the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, beating expectations for a 180,000 increase.

Also on Friday, the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased to 82.5 in December from 75.1 the previous month, far surpassing expectations for a 76.0 reading.

By Monday, renewed uncertainty as to whether or not the U.S. central bank will wait until early 2014 after reviewing more data before deciding on the fate of its stimulus program sent stock prices falling.

While a decision to wind down asset purchases would signal the economy is improving, it would also take away a monetary crutch that has supported stock prices for over a year now.

Ongoing fiscal impasses in Washington pushed prices down as well.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Goldman Sachs, up 1.22%, Walt Disney, up 0.64%, and UnitedHealth Group, up 0.41%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Microsoft, down 1.54%, Coca-Cola, down 1.36%, and Procter & Gamble, down 1.34%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.76%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.04%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.88%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.55%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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