Stocks Fall as Fed Fails to Move on QE3
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks fell Wednesday after a so-called flash crash disrupted trading and the Federal Reserve failed to outline a plan to stimulate the economy, disappointing investors.
Some stocks were halted. The source of the problem was traced to Knight Capital Group(KGC) , which said its market-making unit had suffered a software glitch that was interfering with its system's interaction with the New York Stock Exchange. Knight Capital said the problem affected about 150 New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks. The NYSE was reviewing trades in 148 companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 32.55 points, or 0.3%, at 12,976. The blue-chip index started the session up about 7% year to date.
Breadth was positive within the Dow, as 17 of the blue-chip index's 30 components moved higher. The biggest percentage gainers were Intel(INTC) , Chevron(CVX) , Travelers(TRV) and Pfizer(PFE) . The laggards included Boeing(BA) , Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , American Express(AXP) and Bank of America(BAC) .
The strongest sectors in the broad market were energy, basic materials, conglomerates and consumer staples. The transportation and consumer cyclical sectors were moving lower.
The Wednesday Fed meeting preceded the highly anticipated European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, with the markets hoping for an announcement of some sort of major intervention after ECB President Mario Draghi last week asserted his wish to do "whatever it takes" to keep the eurozone intact; his remarks were backed up by the leaders of Germany and France.
Economists at Capital Economics caution against building up too much hope on Draghi's comments.