US STOCKS finished lower yesterday as the Federal Reserve’s statement the day before added to investors’ anxiety about the timing of a pullback in its stimulus programme.
While it was a second consecutive day of losses for the market, all three major indexes ended October with solid gains.
Dragging on the Dow and the S&P 500, Visa lost 3.5 per cent to $196.67 after the world’s largest credit and debit card company reported a 28 per cent drop in quarterly profit.
The Fed on Wednesday said it will keep buying $85bn of bonds per month, citing weaker economic signals, but it removed a phrase from a previous statement expressing worries about credit conditions, which some investors interpreted as a sign that the Fed could begin tapering earlier than expected.
Before the Fed’s meeting, many market participants were anticipating that the stimulus plan would not change until at least early next year.
The Fed’s accommodative monetary policy in recent years has contributed to the stock market’s rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 73.01 points, or 0.47 per cent, to close at 15,545.75. The S&P 500 lost 6.77 points, or 0.38 per cent, to finish at 1,756.54. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.91 points or 0.28 per cent, to end at 3,919.71.
The S&P 500 closed near its intraday low, with a wave of end-of-session selling marked by sell-order imbalances near the close.