Fed boosts speculation about tapering by year-end, stocks slide

|By:, SA News Editor

The Fed didn’t say it could start tapering at its December meeting but it didn't say it wouldn't, and that was enough for profit takers to swoop in and send stocks lower, halting a four-day record run.

Virtually every line of today's FOMC statement was unchanged from September save for two minor changes, which despite the late drop in stocks more or less puts today’s announcement in line with expectations.

All 10 sectors settled in the red, but their losses were limited to less than 0.8%; the tech-heavy Nasdaq lagged the other indexes as biotechs are on track to end the month with a 1% loss.

Treasurys ended lower, with the 10-year yield up three bps at 2.53%; gold prices fell and the dollar strengthened against major currencies.