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Overnight Markets: Fed minutes weigh on Wall Street
The Dow Jones and the Nasdaq declined, while the S&P 500 erased losses in the final hour of trading.
The Dow Jones and the Nasdaq declined on Wednesday while the S&P 500 erased losses in the final hour of trading as investors weighed minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting for evidence that the central bank may be closer to additional stimulus actions.
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 49 points, or 0.38%, to end at 12,605. It was a fifth day of losses for the Dow. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was flat at 1,341. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 14 points, or 0.49%, to close at 2,888.
Investors were expecting the Fed's minutes would suggest the central bank was getting closer to another round of stimulus. The lack of clues triggered selling in all three major indexes, though stocks pared losses just ahead of the close.
Meanwhile, an economic data showed that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 3.8% in May, helped by a rise in exports. But economists warned it might not be sustainable.
Technology and industrials led the S&P's losers. But financials supported the benchmark, with JP Morgan Chase up 1% and Bank of America rallying 2%. Some banks are due to report results on Friday.
Nasdaq component Adtran plunged 15.4% after the network gear maker Adtran warned about third-quarter revenue. Juniper Networks declined 1.1%, and Ciena lost 7.9%.
Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1.5% as oil rebounded from the lowest close in more than a week. Chevron Corp. gained 0.9%.
Hhgreg, an appliance and consumer electronics retailer, sank 36.4% after predicting a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter and cutting its full-year outlook. Rival Best Buy Co Inc slumped 8.4%.
After the close, shares of hotel chain Marriott International fell 0.5% following the release of its results.
DuPont dropped 1.1% as Macquarie Group slashed the stock’s rating to neutral from outperform. Google slid 1.8% amid fears it may miss analysts’ second-quarter sales estimates.
In Asia, equities declined on Thursday after unexpected job losses in Australia added to signs of a deeper global slump ahead of a report from China expected to show the slowest growth since the financial crisis.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.9% to 115 as of 12:58 p.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.6% paring its losses after the Bank of Japan’s credit lending program was reduced to 25 trillion yen from 30 trillion yen. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.4% after a report showed the country’s employers cut 27,000 workers in June. South Korea’s Kospi Index fell 0.6% even after its central bank unexpectedly cut its key interest rate. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.6%.
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by Gavin Lumsden on Dec 19, 2014 at 17:24