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U.S. stocks dip in quiet session, await Fed cue; Dow down 0.07%

Stock MarketsNov 19, 2013 04:17PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - U.S. stocks slid on Tuesday in a quiet session as investors remained on the sidelines to await the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's October policy meeting on Wednesday.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.07%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.20%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.44%.

Investors sidestepped equities on sentiments that the minutes of the Fed’s October meeting will likely reveal authorities still opt it necessary to hold off on scaling back stimulus tools for now, expectations that have largely been priced into trading.

Stimulus tools such as the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly asset purchases drive down interest rates to spur recovery, boosting stock prices in the process.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke is due to speak in public Tuesday evening, and markets bet that the nation's top economist won't signal the need for a timetable to begin tapering the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases.

Last week, Fed Chair Nominee Janet Yellen suggested the economy still needs the U.S. central bank's ultra-loose monetary policies to ensure recovery, and on Monday, the Fed's Bank of New York chief William C. Dudley said he was hopeful that recovery will gain steam soon but made no indication over a need to consider scaling back bond purchases.

Elsewhere, Home Depot released earnings that beat revenue and profit forecasts, though a cautious outlook from Best Buy dampened spirits.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Chevron, up 1.24%, Home Depot, up 0.90%, and JPMorgan, up 0.78%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Visa, down 1.23%, Microsoft, down 1.22%, and Pfizer, down 1.06%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 1.02%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.12%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.35%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.38%.

On Wednesday, the U.S. is to release data on retail sales, consumer inflation, existing home sales and business inventories.

Markets will keep a close eye on the release of the Federal Reserve minutes of its latest policy meeting.

U.S. stocks dip in quiet session, await Fed cue; Dow down 0.07%

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