Stocks Retreat on FOMC Minutes, But Recover From Session Lows
The U.S. stock market trended lower for most of Tuesday's trading session. The major averages hit their lows for the day after the release of the minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting, but recovered some of their losses into the close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 65 points to 13,199. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 13,131 and 13,265. The losses were driven in part by market reaction to the FOMC minutes which suggested that further monetary easing from the Federal Reserve is not imminent.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) fell 0.41% to $141.26 and finished well off of its lows. Despite some increased activity in the wake of the FOMC release, volume was lower than normal. Around 135.2 million SPY shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 142.6 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, lost 0.03% to $68.23. This compared to a loss of 0.20% for the broader Nasdaq Composite. The outperformance in the QQQ was driven in large part to a 1.73% gain in shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) which closed at $629.32.
Crude oil was moderately lower on the session amid a cautious atmosphere. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, fell 1.16% to $104.01. Brent crude contracts which are traded on the ICE exchange lost 0.37% and were last trading at $124.96. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund (NYSE: USO) fell 0.95% to $39.66.
Precious metals were active in the wake of the Fed minutes with gold futures declining to $1,672.00. Silver futures shed 1.37% and were last trading at $32.645. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) slid 1.87% to $159.89 as traders adjusted their expectation for more bond buying from the Federal Reserve.
Treasuries continued their downtrend on Tuesday, sending yields higher. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) declined sharply on the session, losing 1.74% to $110.58. The yield on the 10-Year Note jumped 11.7 basis points to 2.30%.
The U.S. Dollar rallied on the day after the Fed confirmed that another round of quantitative easing is not currently in the cards. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, climbed 0.73% to $22.02. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3216.
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