By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch Last Update: 9/20/2013 01:53:39 PM
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the market still on track for its third week of gains, as investors reacted to the uncertain science of reading verbal signals from U.S. central bankers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 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 Larry Summers deciding to pull his name out of contention to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The final trading session of the week had one Federal Open Market Committee member signaling the Fed could curb stimulus next month and another was critical of the decision not to taper in September.
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, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. The bank manages $910 billion in assets.
The Fed’s unexpected decision to hold off on reducing its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases was “aimed more at Main Street than Wall Street,” said Slinn, adding that the Fed wants to ensure its “decisions don’t risk the nascent recovery in the private sector,” given the potential impact of rising interest rates on housing and the auto sectors.
Bloomberg James Bullard, St. Louis Fed president.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average 108.32 points, or 0.7%, to 15,528.15, with aluminum-producer Alcoa Inc. among the top three decliners among its 30 components, its shares down 1.7% on its final day of trading as a blue chip.
Alcoa, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Bank of America Corp. replaced by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Visa Inc. and Nike Inc. .
Another Dow component, Caterpillar Inc. , fell 2.3% after the heavy-equipment maker in a regulatory filing reported a decl
OK - so we need a "day after pill". Right now sitting on a lot of dead money after cashing out last Wednesday. Lots of uncertainty these next few weeks. However, lately they seem to pull a rabbit out of the hat to everyone's surprise. Will this time be any different? What would be the surprise this time - Obama saying "I give up" - you win, delay Obamacare for another year?