A late-day selling spree forces stocks to close at session lows. The risk trade that has propelled equities throughout much of September takes a day off as concerns about financials return.
Stocks wavered around the flat line for much of the session, but made their move down in the final 10 to 15 minutes of the session. DJIA finishes down 48 (0.4%) at 10812. S&P 500 drops 6 (0.6%) to 1142, has dropped four of the last five sessions. Nasdaq Comp falls 11 (0.5%) to 2370.
Word comes out late in the day that Fed officials are considering new tactics if they resume purchases of Treasury securities to bolster a disappointingly slow recovery. Rather than massive bond purchases with a finite end, Fed officials are weighing a more open-ended, smaller-scale program, WSJ reports. That may’ve hurt stocks in the final few minutes.
Moody’s downgrades the debt of Anglo Irish Bank by three notches, which hurts financial stocks. But more M&A activity boosts confidence as Unilever agrees to buy Alberto-Culver for $3.7B and Southwest announces plans to buy AirTran for $1.4.
On tap for tomorrow, Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Richmond Fed business activity survey and consumer confidence data.