Stocks Ended Lower after Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled a likely end in 2013 to its bond purchases, offsetting upbeat jobs data from the private sector a day before the Labor Department’ s nonfarm-payrolls report for December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 21.19 points, or 0.16%, to end at 13,391.36. The S&P 500 index fell 3.05 points, or 0.21%, to 1,459.37. The Nasdaq Composite index declined 11.69 points, or 0.38%, to 3,100.57.

There was a general sense among Federal Reserve officials that their bond-buying program would last, at most, until the end of the year, according to the minutes from their meeting last month that were released on Thursday.

Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending.

Google is pledging to license hundreds of key patents to mobile computing rivals under more reasonable terms and to curb the use of snippets from other websites in Internet search results in a settlement that ends a high-profile antitrust probe.

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