Stocks Plunge on Fed Meeting Minutes

U.S. stocks retreated on Tuesday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve signaled less of a need to add monetary stimulus.  After falling as much as 133 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 64.94 points, or 0.49%, to 13,199.50. The S&P 500 Index lost 5.66 points, or 0.40%, to 1,413.16. The Nasdaq Composite fell 6.13 points, or 0.20%, to 3,113.57.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting released Tuesday showed the bank’s nervous agnosticism about the recovery, with policymakers reticent about declaring victory or launching new stimulus.There was less interest in another round of bond buys at the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in March, according to the minutes released on Tuesday.

Data from the Institute for Supply Management shows the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in March, from 52.4 to 53.4, pushing U.S. stocks higher. Economists had anticipated a reading of 53.0.

March turned out to be one of the best months for domestic car makers in years, as rising gas prices drove sales of fuel-efficient vehicles and looser credit helped feed pent-up demand.

Facebook fired back on Tuesday in its legal battle with Yahoo by accusing the Web pioneer of infringing 10 of Facebook’s patents, according to a court filing.

A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

Crude-oil futures fell Tuesday. Crude for May delivery dropped $1.22, or 1.2%, to end at $104.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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