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Fed Concerns Contribute To Lackluster Session On Wall Street - U.S. Commentary


There was a mixed performance on Wall Street on Friday.

Shares suffered an early decline, as investors continued to express worries about the Federal Reserve. A recovery through the rest of the day allowed the Dow to edge into positive territory by the close. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted fractional losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 8.6 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 15,303.10. The Nasdaq slipped 0.27 points, or 0.01 percent, to end at 3,459.14. The S&P 500 dipped 0.91 points, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,649.60.

The early weakness followed the release of a report from the Commerce Department that showed a larger-than-expected rebound in durable goods orders in the month of April. While the report suggested an impending recovery in manufacturing activity following a recent pullback, the data added to worries that the Fed will taper its stimulus in the near future.

The report said durable goods orders surged by 3.3 percent in April after tumbling by a revised 5.9 percent in March. Economists had expected orders to climb 1.1 percent compared to the 5.7 percent drop that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding a rebound in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 1.3 percent in April compared to a 1.7 percent drop in March.

Recent comments from Fed officials have suggested that upbeat economic data may lead the central bank to unwind its asset purchase program sooner than previously anticipated. In Congressional testimony on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that upbeat economic data could lead the central bank to taper its asset purchase program in the next few meetings.

Additionally, the minutes of the latest Fed meeting said a number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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