- POSTED: 18 Dec 2013 06:03
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
US stocks on Tuesday closed lower as investors awaited Wednesday's conclusion of a much-anticipated US Federal Reserve policy meeting.
NEW YORK: US stocks on Tuesday closed lower as investors awaited Wednesday's conclusion of a much-anticipated US Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 9.31 points (0.06 per cent) to 15,875.26.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 5.54 points (0.31 per cent) to 1,781.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 5.84 points (0.14 per cent) at 4,023.68.
"Investors are basically sitting on their hands," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of S&P Capital IQ.
"Yesterday we had an oversold rally," Stovall said. "And now, investors really don't want to chase that rally for fear that the Fed will do or say something that turns this market back down."
The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee Tuesday kicked off a two-day meeting that will debate whether economic conditions are strong enough to immediately scale back the $85 billion a month quantitative-easing program.
Analysts disagree on the likelihood of a taper, but some, including Stovall, expect the Fed to announce a modest reduction of about $10 billion to bond purchases.
Facebook rose 2.0 per cent after beginning to experiment with video ads on news feeds this week, potentially unlocking a big revenue source.
Petroleum pipeline company Williams Companies jumped 4.3 per cent after Corvex Management and Soroban Master Fund disclosed that they together had acquired 8.8 per cent of the company and seek board representation. The effort is the latest example of shareholder activism in the oil patch.
Dow component Boeing increased 0.9 per cent after announcing a $10 billion share buyback and a 50 per cent dividend hike.
Fellow Dow member 3M rose 2.9 per cent after announcing a 35 per cent dividend increase. The company also forecast 2014 earnings of $7.30-$7.55 per share, compared with analyst expectations of $7.40.
Hewlett-Packard tacked on 3.5 per cent after JPMorgan Chase upgraded the stock. The JPMorgan note said challenges facing HP are "easing" and that the PC outlook is "starting to improve," Barron's reported.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.84 per cent from 2.88 per cent Monday, while the 30-year declined to 3.87 per cent from 3.90 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.