October 20, 2017

Uncertainty Over Fed Stimulus Leads Markets Lower

The stock market slipped on Thursday, ending a seven-day winning streak for the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index, as a drop in precious metal prices dragged mining shares lower.

Gold fell $33.50, or 2.5 percent, to $1,330.40 an ounce as traders remained hopeful that the Syria crisis would be resolved without an American military strike.

“Gold is a fear factor commodity, and so hope of a resolution is causing prices to go down a little bit,” said Bryant Evans, portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management.

Gold prices also came under pressure from continued speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin to wind down its economic stimulus program when it meets next week.

Economic data showed that first-time weekly claims for state unemployment benefits, the last major reading on the labor market before the Fed’s meeting, fell to the lowest level since 2006, but the picture was incomplete because two states did not process all their claims.

The S. P. materials sector fell 1 percent, with Newmont Mining dropping $1.23, or 4.18 percent, to $28.23.

The S. P. 500 fell 5.71 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,683.42. The index had risen about 3.4 percent over the previous seven sessions.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 25.96 points, or 0.17 percent, to 15,300.64. The Nasdaq composite index was down 9.04 points, or 0.24 percent, at 3,715.97.

Much of the focus of the financial markets has shifted to the Fed policy-making meeting, when a decision is expected about when to reduce its $85 billion-a-month purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

Economists at a majority of primary dealers expect the Fed to announce it will cut its bond purchases, according to a recent Reuters poll. But such a move would also indicate the Fed sees the economy in better shape than many think.

Among the stocks on the move on Thursday, Lululemon Athletica slumped $3.73, or 5.4 percent, to $65.29, after the apparel retailer reported second-quarter results and trimmed its outlook.

Shares of Walt Disney gained $1.55, or 2.42 percent, to $65.49, after the media giant said it would increase its stock buybacks.

Also on the upside was NetSol Technologies, which jumped 97 cents, or 9.51 percent, to $11.17, after the software maker reported that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings nearly doubled.

In the bond market, interest rates were stable. The price of the Treasury’s 10-year note rose
2/32, to 96 17/32, while its yield was unchanged at 2.91 percent.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss