Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished lower on Tuesday after a dovish Federal Reserve official said U.S. stimulus programs could begin winding down this year.
Stimulus tools, such as the Fed's USD85 billion bond-buying program, tend push up stock prices by keeping interest rates low, and talk of their dismantling can send equities prices falling by fueling uncertainty over how markets will react to waning monetary support.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.60%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.57%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.74%.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, a noted policy dove, said the U.S. central bank could begin tapering its USD85 billion bond-buying program later this year if the economy improves.
Other monetary authorities including Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher and Atlanta Fed Chief Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart made similar comments, which allowed stocks to fall.
Disappointing earnings out of the retail sector dampened share prices as well.
Elsewhere, the Commerce Department reported earlier Tuesday that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 22.4% to USD34.2 billion from a USD44.1 billion deficit in May.
Analysts were expecting the U.S. trade deficit to narrow to USD43.5 billion in June.
The data showed that U.S. exports rose 2.2% in June to USD191.2 billion, while imports fell 2.5% to USD225.4 billion as petroleum imports declined sharply.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Walt Disney, up 1.53%, Pfizer, up 0.55%, and Home Depot, up 0.48%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included IBM, down 2.32%, Hewlett-Packard, down 2.18%, and United Technologies, down 1.35%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.71%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.43%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 1.17%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.23%.
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