U.S. stocks retreated slightly on Thursday,
reflecting disappointment that the central bank likely will stop its
bond-buying program by mid or late 2013.
But the losses were miniscule compared to the huge gains of 2-to-3 per cent the day before, when investors were euphoric and relieved that Congress managed to avert a fiscal crisis by passing major tax and spending legislation.
According to minutes of a December meeting released Thursday, Federal Reserve policy makers are aiming to end by 2013 their programme of buying 85 billion dollars of bonds every month to buoy the economy.
The blue-chip Dow industrials shed 21.19 points or 0.16 per cent, to 13,391.36. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 3.05 points or 0.21 per cent to 1,459.37. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lost 11.70 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 3,100.57.
The US currency jumped to 76.73 euro cents from 75.84 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar edged up against the Japanese currency to 87.51 yen from 87.32 yen.
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