U.S. markets slipped Wednesday with investors focused on potential policy shifts
at the U.S. Federal Reserve.
St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard on Wednesday said the central bank did not yet have enough data to make a policy shift. He also said inflation picking up speed was a concern, but the bank would lose credibility if it wavered from its frequently stated goal of keeping inflation at 2 percent or lower.
Currently, inflation is at about half that rate. Skittish investors, however, are pulling back even at cautionary comments about the central bank's $85 billion per month asset purchasing program, which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in June could end in 2014.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 113.35 points or 0.73 percent to close at 15,337.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 8.77 points or 0.52 percent to 1,685.39.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 15.17 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 3,669.27.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,002 shares advanced and 2,076 declined on a volume of 2.8 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note rose 2/32 to yield 2.718 percent.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 1.32 percent or 183.16 points to close at 14,050.16.
Britain's FTSE 100 index shed 0.37 percent or 24.51 points to close at 6,687.43.
Crude-oil futures advanced with a gain of 30 cents to $106.70 per barrel of light, sweet, September delivery crude priced on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for December delivery added $14.80 to reach $1,335.20 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
September silver gained 50.7 cents to reach $21.85 an ounce.
The euro fell to $13,256. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 98.10 yen.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for December delivery added 8 cents to $4.55 1/4 a bushel. Soybeans for November added 10 1/4 cents to $12.38 a bushel. December delivery wheat gained 3/4 cent to $6.42 1/4 a bushel.
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