Stocks suffer longest losing streak since May
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending its longest losing streak in more than six weeks, after the Federal Reserve failed to deliver a firmer read on additional stimulus.
"All monetary policy is Band-Aids while the patient gets sicker and sicker," said Gary Flam, portfolio manager at Bel Air Investment Advisors.
Some central bankers said the Fed would likely need to take additional steps to bolster the job market, according to minutes from their June meeting.
"I'd say for investors the Fed is largely irrelevant, as what is going on in the U.S. and around the world is a fiscal and not a monetary problem. It has to come from politicians, Congress and the president, and that's true globally. And so the Fed will be in the news today, and for a trader that has impact," added Flam, drawing a distinction between investing for the longer term versus day trading.
After dropping 118 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) ended at 12,604.53, down 48.59 points, or 0.4%.
The S&P 500 (SPX) shed a slight fraction to close at 1,341.45, with industrials hardest hit and energy the best performer among the index's 10 sectors.
The Dow and the S&P both extended losses into a fifth day.
"The earnings season is going to keep this market on edge, and of course the ongoing situation in euro land. We're disappointed by the fact the German high court pushed back the debate on the constitutionality of the stability funds -- that caused a little bit of anxiety in the European markets, although Spain's taking some hard measures is actually a positive," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) , down for a fourth session, shed 14.35 points, or 0.5%, to 2,887.98.
The recent selloff is "attracting less and less interest with current average volumes down by 6.3% while stocks have fallen by 1.7%," according to Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.
Decliners ran just ahead of advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 768 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.4 billion.
"The fact that we have light volume is a negative in the sense [that] we'll have larger gyrations, but, when you size it up, we're stuck in a trading range of 2% to 4% over the next several weeks," said Cardillo.
Treasury prices mostly lost ground, with the yield on the 10-year note (10_YEAR) rising to 1.511%.
Oil futures (CLQ2) climbed on a larger-than-expected drop in supplies, with crude finishing at $85.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.