View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a648416
Overnight Markets: US stocks decline on Fed minutes
Policy makers said they will probably end their $85 billion monthly bond-purchase programme sometime in 2013.
US stocks slipped on Thursday as Federal Reserve policy makers said they will probably end their $85 billion monthly bond-purchase programme sometime in 2013.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points, or 0.16%, to 13,391. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed three points, or 0.21%, to 1,459. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 12 points, or 0.38%, to 3,101.
Equities gained earlier yesterday after economic data showed U.S. private-sector employers stepped up hiring in December, offering further evidence of underlying strength in the economy as 2012 ended. The Labour Department will tomorrow release its payrolls report for December.
Shares declined later after the minutes from the Fed's December policy meeting, released on Thursday, showed increasing reticence about further expanding the central bank's $2.9 trillion balance sheet.
Some policymakers thought asset buying should be slowed or stopped before the end of 2013 while others highlighted the need for further stimulus. However, the Fed look set to continue its open-ended stimulus programme for now.
Investors also turned their focus to looming battles in Congress, including the likelihood of bitter fights over budget cuts and raising the federal debt ceiling.
Retailers gained yesterday after several major companies in the sector beat expectations of modest sales increases in December.
Costco Wholesale Corp added 1% after the company reported a better-than-expected 9% rise in December sales at stores open at least a year.
Gap Inc surged 2.3% following news that the retailer will buy women's fashion boutique Intermix Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported.
On the negative side, Family Dollar Stores Inc plunged 13% on the company's report of lower-than-expected quarterly profit.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. sank 4.7% after the biggest U.S. health insurer was cut to hold from buy at Deutsche Bank AG.
In Asia, stocks outside Japan declined on Friday after the Fed minutes showed policy makers signalling they will probably end their $85 billion monthly bond-purchase programme sometime this year. Japanese equities surged as markets reopened today.
News sponsored by:
After Boris announced he was backing Brexit, sterling suffered its biggest slump in six years. Our Market Mavens discuss. Follow the Market Mavens LinkedIn page for weekly videos, in which our panel of industry experts share their views on financial news
More about this:
Tools from Citywire Money
From the Forums
Weekly email from The Lolly
Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below
An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.
Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.
Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.