February 25, 2024

Markets Lower as Fiscal Worries Continue

Wall Street was lower on Friday as investors worried that politicians in Washington might not agree on a budget needed to avoid a shutdown of the government.

In afternoon trading the Standard Poor’s 500-share index fell 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was off 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq composite 0.1 percent.

The government will reach its borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, on Tuesday. If Congress doesn’t raise that limit, the government won’t be able to pay all its bills and some 800,000 of the 2.1 million federal employees will not go to work.

The White House and Republican lawmakers still disagree sharply on spending cuts and other key budget issues. The Senate plans to vote Friday on measure to prevent an immediate shutdown next week, but a lasting solution still seems far off.

“Tension will increase on the U.S. fiscal front as we approach the deadline of potential government shutdown and will likely act as a drag on sentiment,” said Gary Yau, analyst at Crédit Agricole CIB.

Britain’s FTSE 100 index dropped 0.8 percent to close at 6,512.66 points while Germany’s DAX ended flat at 8,661.51. France’s CAC 40 also closed unchanged, at 4,186.77.

In economic data, American families spent 0.3 percent more in August than the month before, a reflection of wage gains. Figures this week on unemployment benefits had been upbeat, suggesting the Federal Reserve may begin to “taper” its monetary stimulus in coming months.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 percent to close at 23,207.04 while in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent to 2,160.03.

Markets in China were subdued ahead of the introduction on Sunday of a pilot free-trade zone in Shanghai.

China’s leaders have already loosened restrictions on foreign investment in the 11.2-square-mile zone. Further details are expected when the zone is inaugurated. Analysts say authorities are likely to relax taxes, trade quotas and administrative red tape in the zone.

A weeklong holiday in China that starts Tuesday and follows another three-day holiday just last week also kept some investors on the sidelines.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.3 percent to 14,760.07 after the country’s consumer price inflation rose at the fastest rate in five years in August.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.2 percent while Australia’s S.P./ASX 200 rose 0.2 percent. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore also advanced but India’s dropped.

In currencies, the euro strengthened 0.4 percent to $1.3543 while the dollar slipped 0.7 percent against the Japanese yen, to 98.31 yen. The British pound rose 0.6 percent to $1.6134 after the governor of the Bank of England said he saw no reason to have more monetary stimulus as the economy is improving.

In energy markets, benchmark oil for November delivery rose 53 cents to $103.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 37 cents to settle at $103.03 on Thursday.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Stocks Up as Traders Expect a Small Cut in Fed Stimulus

Wall Street indexes rose on Tuesday on expectations the Federal Reserve will make only modest changes to a monetary policy that has been highly supportive of stocks and other assets.

In afternoon trading the Standard Poor’s 500-share index gained 0.4 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average was 0.3 percent higher and the Nasdaq composite 0.7 percent.

The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee was to begin its two-day meeting on Tuesday to discuss whether to scale back its monthly bond purchases, or quantitative easing. Many investors expect Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, will announce a scale-back of purchases by $10 billion a month to $75 billion, while keeping rates close to zero.

“It seems like now the market is believing that tapering will be very well managed by Bernanke, that he knows exactly what the market is expecting and that he’s not going to disappoint,” said Jack De Gan, principal and senior adviser at Harbor Advisory in Portsmouth, N.H. “We know that the tapering will be subjective based on the economic information that is coming in, and that the interest rate policy will remains as it is for a very long time.”

Market sentiment was also pressured by President Obama who warned Republicans in Congress he will not negotiate over an extension of the federal debt ceiling as part of a budget fight.

The government’s economic data released on Tuesday showed United States consumer prices barely rose in August compared with July as the cost of energy fell, but an increase in rents and medical care costs pointed to a stabilization in underlying inflation that could allow the Federal Reserve to start trimming its bond purchases.

A separate report showed United States homebuilder sentiment was unchanged in September after four straight months of gains.

In Europe, markets ended the trading session generally lower, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index of blue chips off 0.5 percent. German Bunds edged lower after a survey from ZEW economic research organization showed German analyst and investor sentiment rose more than expected in September, prompting a search for higher yielding assets.

Asian markets also closed lower. Japan’s Nikkei stock average ended the session 0.7 percent lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.3 percent lower, and the Shanghai composite was 2.1 percent down.

In company news, Microsoft shares rose 0.4 percent to $33 after the company said it would buy back up to $40 billion of its shares and raise its quarterly dividend by 22 percent.

Apple shares, which closed below their 200-day moving average for the first time since August 2012, rose 1.7 percent.

Pandora Media shares were up 4.1 percent a day after the company warned that its business is slowing and proposed a follow-on offering of 10 million shares for capital expenditures, according to a regulatory filing.

Shares of Aéropostale jumped 20 percent after Sycamore Partners reported a 7.96 percent stake in the teen apparel retailer as of Sept. 9.

United States benchmark crude fell $1.45 a barrel, to $105.14, as easing worries over a potential military action on Syria calmed concerns of a disruption to Middle East oil supplies and after output resumed at a western Libyan oil field.

Gold fell 0.4 percent, to $1313.10 an ounce.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Markets Close Lower After Release of Fed Minutes

Stocks wavered and closed lower today as investors weighed the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July policy-setting meeting.

By the end of trading, the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index, which fell following the 2 p.m. release, closed 0.6 percent lower, the Dow Jones industrial average was 0.7 percent lower and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.4 percent.

The minutes showed that Federal Reserve policy makers were considering tapering off their huge economic stimulus efforts, according to the official summary, but they did not yet have a clear consensus about the timing of their actions.

The S. P. 500 rose on Tuesday to end a four-day losing streak, but remained under technical pressure as it closed below its 50-day moving average for a third consecutive session.

Investors have been grappling over the last several weeks with uncertainty over when the Fed will begin to wind down its $85 billion-a-month stimulus program.

Target warned that its annual profit might be near the low end of its forecast as consumer spending remained cautious; its shares fell 3.6 percent.

Shares of the home improvement chain Lowe’s rose 3.9 percent after it reported a bigger-than-expected rise in profit and revenue as the housing market’s recovery encouraged people to spend more on their homes.

Staples reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on dismal sales in international markets and cut its outlook for the year. Its shares slumped 15.3 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei ended 0.2 percent higher as investors drew support from a declaration by the Bank of Japan’s governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, that he would not hesitate to expand the bank’s huge asset-buying campaign if the economic outlook darkened.

Among the major currencies — where safe-haven flows ahead of the Fed minutes have favored the yen and Swiss franc — the dollar had recovered some lost ground, gaining 0.4 percent against a basket of currencies to move off a two-month low.

The euro eased 0.4 percent against the dollar, to $1.3367, having touched a six-month high of $1.3452 on Tuesday, and sterling briefly hit a two-month high of $1.5697 against the dollar when a business survey showed an improvement in British factory orders.

In the fixed income markets, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields edged back to 2.83 percent, though rates remained close to 2013 highs as many investor have already positioned for the potential Fed tapering.

Commodity markets were generally softer. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent, at $1,350.50 an ounce.

Benchmark New York crude oil for October delivery lost $1.14, to $103.97 a barrel.

Large current account deficits make all three countries particularly vulnerable to capital outflows at times of monetary tightening.

Emerging stock markets have shared in the sell-off, victims of a growing conviction among investors that an end to Fed bond buying because of the stronger American economic outlook makes developed countries’ debt and equity markets a sounder bet.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Markets Flat as Traders Prepare for Fed Moves

Stocks on Wall Street opened little changed on Monday, following the Dow Jones industrial average’s largest weekly drop in more than a year, as traders positioned for an expected move from the Federal Reserve to scale back its economic stimulus.

In early trading the Standard Poor’s 500-share index and the Dow Jones industrial average were flat, and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.2 percent.

Bets that the Fed would begin to wind down its $85 billion-a-month asset purchases were seen in bond markets. The United States benchmark 10-year yield rose to a fresh two-year high of 2.875 percent, and German 10-year government bond yields rose 1.3 basis points to 1.89 percent, briefly hitting a 17-month high of 1.92 percent.

The higher yields could further hurt dividend-paying, low-growth equity sectors like utilities and health care. Last Friday, the S. P. 500 health care sector recorded its largest weekly drop since November 2011.

Capital-intensive industries like large industrials and some mining companies, alongside utilities, could see their stocks fall out of favor if yields and interest rates continue to rise, according to Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“Anybody with a large amount of short-term debt,” she said, speaking of sectors to watch for a possible sell-off because of higher rates. “And if they pay a dividend, it can be at risk.”

European shares have outperformed over the last two months as the euro zone has pulled out of a recession, but on Monday they were struggling. In early afternoon trading London’s FTSE was down 0.5 percent, the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.3 percent, and CAC 40 in Paris was 0.8 percent lower.

Rising debt yields in major economies make it harder for developing nations to finance growing current account deficits, and so emerging markets have taken a spill.

The Indian rupee slid as far as 62.73 per dollar Monday, emphatically breaching the previous low of 62.03. The country’s share market lost 1.4 percent, on top of a 4 percent drubbing on Friday.

The country’s central bank has tried to restrict how much Indian residents and companies can send offshore, but that only raised fears of outright capital controls that would further undermine the confidence of foreign investors.

Other Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei in Japan ended the day up 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0. percent lower.

With little expected this week in the way of economic indicators, market participants are focused on the minutes of the latest Fed meeting, expected on Wednesday.

A federal bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of key Chinese officials to help it win business is the latest in a series of legal and regulatory headaches for Jamie Dimon, the chief executive.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

A Rise in Technology Keeps the Market Ahead

The stock market eked out small gains on Tuesday after an upturn in technology companies offset weakness in other parts of the market, including a drop in airline shares.

The gain in technology stocks was driven by Apple, which surged $22.21, or 4.8 percent, to $489.57 after the billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn posted on Twitter that he held a large position in the company and that its stock was undervalued.

August has begun as a lackluster month for the stock market as major indexes fail to add significantly to gains made in July. The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index has drifted lower since closing at a nominal high on Aug. 2. Still, the index is up 18.8 percent this year.

On Tuesday, the S. P. 500 rose 4.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,694.16. The Nasdaq composite index gained 14.49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,684.44. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31.33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,451.01.

A sharp rise in Treasury yields rippled through the stock market on Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year note climbed almost to its highest point in two years after an increase in July retail sales added to speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin to wind down its economic stimulus program sooner rather than later.

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis P. Lockhart, said on Tuesday that it was too early to say when the bank would reduce its stimulus, but hinted that it probably would happen this year.

“You could argue that stocks would be up higher today if the bond market was behaving,” said John Canally, an investment strategist for LPL Financial. “The market’s trend right now is higher.”

Airline stocks slumped after the federal government challenged the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines, which is seeking to leave bankruptcy.

The Justice Department, which filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the merger of the airlines, which are among the nation’s largest, said the deal would substantially reduce competition, increase fares and curtail service. US Airways plunged $2.46, or 13.1 percent, to $16.36.

Among the stocks on the move, J. C. Penney fell 49 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $12.68. The struggling department store chain faces uncertainty after the activist investor William A. Ackman resigned from its board.

In government bond trading, the price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 27/32, to 98 3/32, while its yield jumped to 2.72 percent from 2.62 percent late Monday.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Markets Slump Despite Some Positive Reports

Markets drifted on Thursday amid mixed economic and corporate news around the world and as investors paused to reflect after Wall Street’s failure to make new highs.

In afternoon trading, the Standard Poor’s 500-share index was 0.2 percent higher, the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.6 percent.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended the day down 0.5 percent even after official figures showed that the British economy grew by a quarterly 0.6 percent in the second quarter, its fastest rate in nearly two years. Germany’s DAX was down 1 percent despite the closely watched Ifo index pointing to solid growth in Europe’s economy. The CAC 40 in France was 0.2 percent lower.

United States economic figures failed to move the markets much, with a bigger-than-expected 4.2 percent surge in durable goods orders in June downplayed because it was largely a result of elevated aircraft sales. And a 7,000 increase in weekly jobless claims was more or less in line with expectations.

The latest run of corporate earnings around the world also failed to excite. Though a number of companies like Facebook have impressed, investors have not shown much willingness to push markets higher on the back of corporate earnings. Among the latest releases, Facebook (shares up 27 percent on Thursday) and General Motors (shares down 0.9 percent) impressed, but the German chemical company BASF (United States-traded shares down 3.1 percent) disappointed.

Some results “are being used as an opportunity to sell at the current highs, creating another opportunity to buy the dips,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

China’s weak manufacturing figures from Wednesday continued to weigh on sentiment in Asia. China’s slowdown is in large part self-induced. Its leaders are trying to shift the basis of China’s growth away from reliance on exports and industrial investment in favor of consumption, which they hope will be more self-sustaining. That means large stimulus is unlikely.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average shed 1.1 percent, to 14,562.93 points, with the camera maker Canon plunging 5.4 percent after it lowered its full-year profit and sales outlook on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent, at 21,900.96 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.6 percent, to 2,021.17.

Currency markets were fairly lackluster, with the euro 0.2 percent higher, at $1.3230, and the dollar down 0.6 percent, at 99.59 yen.

The latest bout of selling of oil ground to a halt and the benchmark New York rate was 31 cents higher, at $105.70 a barrel.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Mixed Day on Wall Street as Tech Giants Disappoint

Stronger-than-expected results from General Electric and the oil-field services company Schlumberger helped the S. P. 500 offset losses in the technology sector and post a fourth week of gains.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.5 percent, the S. P. added 0.7 percent, and the Nasdaq fell 0.3 percent. The S. P. is up 18.6 percent for the year.

On Friday, Microsoft was the biggest drag on all three major indexes, its stock slumping 11.4 percent to $31.40, with the Nasdaq registering the day’s steepest declines. Google, which lost 1.5 percent to $896.60, also weighed on the S. P. 500 and Nasdaq. Both companies reported earnings that fell short of expectations.

Technology “may be the one area where companies haven’t gotten expectations sufficiently reduced,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management in Chicago. “Stocks like Microsoft and Google I think were probably at the point where they had traded so nicely into earnings that people were really looking for something positive to be said.”

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 4.80 points, or 0.03 percent, on Friday to close at 15,543.74. The S. P. 500 was up 2.72 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,692.09. The Nasdaq fell 23.66 points, or 0.66 percent, at 3,587.61.

Analysts’ estimates for corporate earnings have been reduced so much that investors say they believe the targets for the most part should be beaten easily. Through Friday, of the 104 companies in the S. P. 500 that had reported quarterly earnings, 65.4 percent reported earnings above expectations, while 51 percent topped revenue estimates, according to Thomson Reuters.

Also in the tech sector, Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 13.2 percent to $4.03 after the company said gross margins would fall, even as it forecast stronger-than-expected revenue growth in the third quarter.

Encouraging earnings from other companies helped offset the tech losses. Shares of General Electric rose 4.6 percent to $24.72, while shares of Schlumberger gained 5.4 percent to $82.74.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 14/32 to 93 21/32, to yield 2.48 percent, down from 2.53 percent on Thursday.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 19, 2013

Because of an editing error, a headline on an earlier version of this article misstated the outcome of Friday’s Wall Street trading. The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index, a broad measure of the market, ended with a slight gain; it is not the case that markets closed lower.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/20/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Wall Street Flat at the Open

Financial markets were lackluster Tuesday as investors paused for breath ahead of testimony from the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke.

In afternoon trading the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index fell 0.4 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq was 0.3 percent lower.

Mr. Bernanke’s comments on Wednesday to lawmakers in Congress could set the tone in markets for the rest of the summer. In particular, investors will be looking for any further guidance on when the Fed will start to reduce its monetary stimulus.

The Fed is currently spending $85 billion a month buying financial assets in the hope of keeping long-term borrowing rates low and stimulating the American economy. The new money created in recent years has been one of the key drivers of markets.

Economic figures in the United States are being largely viewed through the prism of Fed policy. Tuesday’s batch of numbers did little to affect expectations. The 0.3 percent monthly rise in industrial production during June was in line with expectations while the uptick in the annual inflation rate to 1.8 percent from 1.4 percent was largely discounted because it was because of a sharp rise in gasoline prices.

“It’s certainly possible that they could begin tapering their bond purchases later this year, but the absence of higher inflation and the stubbornly high jobless rate suggests that it may not need to do so in the near-term, particularly if those growth expectations fail to materialize,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.5 percent to close at 6,556.35 while Germany’s DAX dropped 0.4 percent at 8,201.05. The CAC 40 in France ended 0.7 percent lower at 3,851.03.

Tuesday’s run of corporate news had little impact despite solid earnings from Goldman Sachs and Johnson Johnson. Coca-Cola’s, though, were disappointing as it reported falling profits and weak volume growth, particularly in North America.

Once Mr. Bernanke’s appearance before lawmakers is over, markets, particularly Wall Street, may return their focus to the earnings reports.

“Corporate earnings season is going to play a much bigger part in driving market sentiment in the coming weeks, than it has over the last couple of years,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari. “With investors no longer able to rely on the Fed to drive equity markets higher, they have to make do with focusing more on the fundamentals, and nothing gives us a better overview of these than company earnings reports and their expectations for the coming quarters.”

Earlier in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 1,866.36 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 21,312.38. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3 percent to 2,065.72.

In currency markets, the euro was up 0.6 percent at $1.3143 while the dollar fell 0.5 percent to 99.35 yen.

Oil prices were steady, with the benchmark contract in New York down 23 cents at $106.09 a barrel.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Lackluster Start on Wall Street

Stocks drifted lower on Friday, after closing at fresh record highs a day earlier, as rosy results from JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were offset by a profit warning from United Parcel Service.

In afternoon trading the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index was 0.1 percent lower, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq composite was flat.

The S.P. 500 and the Dow closed at record highs on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said the Fed would keep monetary policy loose for some time to lower the unemployment rate.

JPMorgan Chase, the largest American bank by assets, advanced 0.3 percent after reporting a 31 percent jump in quarterly profit as trading revenue rebounded.

Shares of Wells Fargo, the country’s largest mortgage lender, climbed 2 percent the company reported a higher-than-expected 19 percent rise in quarterly profit.

But United Parcel Service, the world’s No. 1 package delivery company, dropped 5.7 percent. It estimated second-quarter profit would be below analysts’ expectations because of overcapacity in the world freight market. Rival FedEx lost ground too, shedding 2.3 percent.

“Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have come in with better than expected numbers. U.P.S. is probably not a surprise given ongoing downward revisions in guidance,” said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist, D.A. Davidson Company in Lake Oswego, Ore. “We’ll go a little bit higher, consolidate gains, maybe take a little profit going into the weekend and investors are going to sit back and wait for the tidal wave of earnings next week.”

In Europe, markets were higher though the morning but lost steam in the afternoon, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index closing down 0.1 percent. Investors in Asia turned cautious after China’s finance minister doused hopes of fresh stimulus after he said sub-7 percent growth was acceptable for Beijing; the Shanghai composite closed 1.6 percent lower.

Data showed the seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index increased 0.8 percent last month, the Department of Labor said, above expectations calling for a 0.5 percent increase. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices, rose 0.2 percent last month, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1 percent.

The benchmark S. P. index has risen 3.8 percent over the last six sessions. That was its longest winning streak since early March, when the index climbed for seven sessions on positive data, hopes for rosy results and signals from the Fed that it would continue to backstop the economy.

U.S.-listed shares of Infosys jumped 7.3 percent after reporting quarterly results and maintaining its revenue growth forecast.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Investors Parse Fed Report And a 4-Day Rally Fizzles

The Dow slipped and the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index edged up less than a point on Wednesday, interrupting a four-day rally as investors tried to gauge when the Federal Reserve might scale back its economic stimulus.

Minutes from the Fed’s June policy meeting, which were released on Wednesday afternoon, showed that some members of the governing board wanted more reassurance that the labor market was improving before reining in stimulus measures. Even so, consensus built within the Fed that there probably was a need to begin pulling back soon on its monthly bond buying.

The three major stock indexes recovered some ground immediately after the release of the minutes. But those gains were short-lived as investors parsed the details of the minutes.

The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 8.68 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 15,291.66. The S. P. 500 index inched up just 0.30 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 1,652.62. The Nasdaq composite index gained 16.50 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 3,520.76.

Investors appeared to be more encouraged by a speech from the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, that was delivered after the market closed. Mr. Bernanke said highly accommodative monetary policy was needed for the foreseeable future and that the unemployment rate at 7.6 percent may be overstating the job market’s health.

His comments sent stock index futures higher. The central bank has said it will continue buying bonds until the labor market outlook improves substantially.

“That is calming market fears,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, N.Y., referring to Mr. Bernanke’s comments. “Speculation that the tapering could be from September is now turning into, ‘Maybe the Fed is going stay longer.’ ”

Mr. Bernanke spooked investors last month when he said the economy’s expansion was strong enough for the central bank to start slowing the pace this year of its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds, known as quantitative easing.

Some in the market have pegged September as time when the Fed could start pulling back, but the minutes suggested that was not a foregone conclusion.

The S. P. 500 has risen more than 2 percent over the last five sessions, nearing its high of 1,669.16, reached May 21.

Analysts expect earnings at S. P. 500 companies to grow 2.6 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while revenue is forecast to increase 1.5 percent, Thomson Reuters data shows.

In government bonds, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 9/32 to 92 2/32, sending the yield up to 2.67 percent, from 2.64 percent late Tuesday.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss