Aug. 19 (UPI) — U.S. markets fell for the second consecutive day Wednesday as the Federal Reserve released minutes from its July meeting discussing plans to ramp down its bond purchases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 382.59 points, or 1.08%, while the S&P 500 fell 1.07% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 0.89%.
Minutes from the Fed’s July 27-28 meeting revealed that members of the Federal Open Market Committee discussed plans to scale back its monthly bond buying program within this year.
“Looking ahead, most participants noted that, provided that the economy were to evolve broadly as they anticipated, they judged that it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year,” the minutes read.
The minutes further noted the economy was “close to being satisfied” with the progress of job growth and had already reached its goal for inflation.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also due to speak at the Fed’s annual economic symposium next week in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“Absent a significant reversal in the strong jobs numbers or inflation data, the minutes reflect a Fed that is prepared to accelerate its taper timeline to perhaps the next few months,” Sean Bandazian, investment analyst for Cornerstone Wealth, told MarketWatch. “While we are not convinced Powell will announce any taper next week at Jackson Hole, it is clear from the minutes that many Fed members are prepared to recommend an imminent tapering of asset purchases.”
The 10-year treasury yield closed at 1.263% following the release of the notes after having previously hit a session high of 1.3%.
Housing starts also fell 7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5 million units, below economists’ expectations.
Wednesday also saw another round of second quarter retail earnings reports with Lowe’s gaining 9.59% after exceeding analysts’ expectations.