S&P 500 Falls From Record amid Economic Data Reports
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated from a record set yesterday, after the Federal Reserve announced plans to trim its monetary stimulus, as investors weighed economic data today that included jobless claims and home sales. The S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to 1,809.60, narrowing an earlier drop of 0.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 11.11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,179.08, extending an all-time high. The Nasdaq dipped 11.93 points, or .29%, to 4,058.13. About 6.4 billion shares changed hands today on U.S. exchanges, roughly 4 percent higher than the three-month average. Data from the Labor Department today showed applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to an almost nine-month high of 379,000, in contrast to a median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg that predicted a drop to 336,000 applications. A separate report showed previously owned home sales declined for the third consecutive month in November to the lowest level of 2013 as rising mortgage rates and a limited supply of properties deterred buyers. The S&P 500 rose to 1,810.65 yesterday and the Dow reached a record 16,167.97 after the Fed announced it will cut its monthly bond purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion starting in January due to an improving labor market. The central bank also stated it likely will keep its benchmark interest rates low “well past the time” that the jobless rate falls below its target of 6.5 percent.