Stocks pause on Wall Street a day after a surge

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm •  Published: December 19, 2013
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes ended up pretty much where they started on Thursday, a day after a powerful surge.

Stocks gained the most in more than two months Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. Investors saw the decision as a vote of confidence in the economy.

"It's good for the economy, and it's good for the market, to start standing on its own two feet," said Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer for stocks at Calvert Investments.

Financial markets were still digesting the Fed's move on Thursday. While stocks were holding close to record levels, Treasury yields climbed, the dollar rose and gold slumped to its lowest in more than three years.

Major U.S. stock indexes started the day lower, moved gradually higher throughout the day and closed essentially flat.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.05 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,809.60. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 11.11 points, or 0.07 percent, to 16,179.08. It rose 293 points the day before. The Nasdaq composite fell 11.93 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,058.13.

Target fell $1.40, or 2.2 percent, to $62.15 after the company said that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised by a data breach that happened just as shoppers flooded into stores for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Facebook declined 52 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $55.05 after the company said it will sell 70 million shares, more than half of them from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The S&P 500 is up 0.2 percent for the month after moving into the green for the first time in December on Wednesday. If the gains hold, the index will have advanced for 10 of the 12 months this year.

Stock have surged this year as the Fed has kept up its economic stimulus and held down long-term interest rates. Stock prices have also been supported by growing corporate earnings and a gradually strengthening economy.

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