Category: Markets / Finance / October 24, 2012 5:54 PM EDT
U.S. stocks ended lower for a second day on Wednesday (October 24), as investors soured on another round of underwhelming corporate results and the Federal Reserve said it would stick to its stimulus plan until the job market improves.
The S&P 500 has lost 3.6 percent over the past five sessions, hurt by weak earnings outlooks and top-line revenue misses from large multinational companies. The index is now down 3.9 percent from its closing high of 1,465.77 set on Sept. 14.
Boeing bucked the trend with a more optimistic outlook, but it could not break away from the rest of the market as it was pulled into negative territory in the afternoon. Shares of the defense and aerospace company, a Dow component, fell 0.2 percent to $72.71 (USD).
The Fed, in its latest policy statement, said it would keep buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed debt per month to keep interest rates low until the job picture gets better.
On Sept. 13, the Fed unveiled a third round of economic stimulus, or quantitative easing, known as QE3.
The Dow Jones industrial average shed 25.19 points, or 0.19 percent, to 13,077.34 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 4.36 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,408.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 8.77 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 2,981.70.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes soared 5.7 percent in September to the highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years, offering more evidence that the housing market's recovery is improving.