Dow gives up gains late in the day

After holding above 16,000 for much of the trading session, the Dow Jones has slipped into the red, as investors finally start to show wariness of how high prices have risen.

With under an hour to the close on Wall Street, the Dow was just down on the day, falling 0.02% to 15,959. The S&P 500’s losses were more substantial, dropping 0.42% to 1790.6, while the NASDAQ 100 dropped 1%.

The stock market’s impressive advance this year has been fuelled to a substantial degree by the Fed’s stimulus, and so the sentiment of investors can be very responsive to the latest noises coming from any Fed official, despite those views not necessarily being representative of the FOMC as a whole.

Today is a case in point, with comments from New York Fed chief William Dudley and Philly Fed chief Charles Plosser appearing to dent sentiment on Wall Street.

Mr Dudley said that he was more hopeful about the state of the US economy after recent improvements in data and foresees fiscal drags on the economy subsiding in the next few years, while Mr Plosser said that the jobs market has ‘substantially improved’ since last year, and that the Fed should begin to wind down its QE programme.

Mr Plosser, who does not become a voting member of the FOMC until next year, has spoken out against QE several times already this year, having previously said that the Fed missed an opportunity by not tapering in September.

Tomorrow we will see quarterly earnings from Dow component Home Depot.

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