Wall Street Dips as Economy Takes Center Stage

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

The broad S&P 500 edged lower, while the Dow took heavier losses, as traders digested upbeat economic data and Fed minutes.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) fell 68.2 points, or 0.41%, to 16463, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:GSPC) dipped 0.39 point, or 0.02%, to 1838 and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ:IXIC) gained 12.4 points, or 0.3%, to 4166.

The S&P 500 snapped a three-day losing streak Tuesday, posting solid gains on the back of upbeat economic data. However, that bullish mood didn't last.

The American economy garnered Wall Street's attention again on the day with data on the jobs market, and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting due out.

A report from payroll processor ADP showed 238,000 private-sector jobs were added in December, well above estimates of 200,000. The the data come ahead of the all-important monthly jobs report from the Labor Department, which comes out Friday. Several economists, including those at Goldman Sachs, have warned cold weather that's swept across the country represents a downside risk to these data.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December policy-setting meeting indicated the central bank is increasingly concerned about inflation levels that are running well below the targeted rate even as the U.S. economy recovers at a swifter pace. Those worries, along with the housing market’s unexpected sensitivity to rising interest rates, helped guide the Fed’s decision to begin winding down QE3 slowly and add inflation as a key guidepost to its plans to eventually hike short-term interest rates.

On the corporate front, Cantor Fitzgerald became the latest brokerage to cut Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to "sell" from "hold," sending the short-messaging site's shares sinking in pre-market trading. Forest Laboratories (NYSE:FRX) said it would buy privately-held Aptalis for $2.9 billion in cash.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $93.95 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.06% to $2.68 a gallon. Gold was little changed at $1,230.

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