NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Stocks stumbled Wednesday after the release of U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes showing some policymakers favor scaling back asset purchases.
Minutes of the Fed's October meeting indicated some members are considering a slow retreat from the $85 billion-per-month asset purchase program -- which the Fed has used since 2008 to stimulate household and business spending. Fed purchases of long-term securities lead to a smaller supply and higher prices for such securities.
The possibility of scaling back the purchases has influenced markets since it was first suggested in June.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 15,900.82 points, down 66.21 points or 0.41 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 gave up 6.50 points or 0.36 percent, to 1,781.37. The Nasdaq composite index lost 10.28 points or 0.26 percent, to 3,921.27.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,034 issues advanced and 2,056 declined on total volume of 3.1 billion shares traded.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 50.48 points or 0.33 percent to 15,076.08.
In London, the FTSE 100 shed 16.93 or 0.25 percent, to close at 6,681.08.
On currency markets, the euro was trading higher $1.3437, while the dollar fell to 100.03 yen.
Ten-year benchmark treasuries fell 25/32 to yield 2.803 percent at the close of trading.
In late trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil was breaking even at $93.34 per barrel. On the Comex division, gold shed $30.30 to $1,243.20 per troy ounce while silver was off 49.4 cents or 2.43 percent to $19.84 per ounce.