Stocks end Fed-driven week with a thud
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both fell for a second session, retreating from the record heights that came Wednesday after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly said it would refrain from curbing stimulus for now. On Monday, stocks rallied in the wake of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pulling his name out of contention to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
It has been a "big week if you're a Fed watcher; between Larry Summers and the FOMC meeting, the market was caught off guard," said Richard Slinn, co-head of investments for Northern California at JPMorgan Private Bank.
Aluminum-producer Alcoa Inc. was among decliners among the Dow's 30 components, its shares down 1.8 percent on its final day of trading as a blue chip.
Another Dow component, Caterpillar Inc., fell 3.4 percent after the heavy-equipment maker in a regulatory filing reported a decline in retail sales.
Despite the volatile week, the month is shaping up to be the fifth best September ever for stocks, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Apple Inc. shares fell 1 percent as long lines formed at the iPhone maker's retail stores around the globe, with the latest models of its handsets on sale, starting Friday.
Interviewed Friday on Bloomberg Television, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the decision not to begin tapering followed weaker economic data, and that a small taper could start in October. Stock futures fell after he spoke.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George on Friday said markets were ready for reduced stimulus to begin, and the central bank's failure to follow through on expectations hurt its credibility on Wall Street.
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