Stocks Ended Down Sharply after Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks ended down sharply on Wednesday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested the central bank may have to slow or stop buying assets before seeing a pickup in hiring.  The Dow Jones Indusrial Average fell 108.13 points, or 0.77%, to 13,927.54. The S&P 500 declined 18.99 points, or 1.24%, to 1,511.95. The Nasdaq Composite lost 49.18 points, or 1.53%, to 3,164.41.

The U.S. Federal Reserve may have to slow or stop buying bonds before seeing the pickup in hiring the bold program is designed to deliver, a number of Fed officials felt last month, according to minutes of the central bank’s January policy meeting.

The planned $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz Co by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital is leading rival Campbell Soup to take a closer look at its own cost structure, the soup company’s chief executive said Wednesday

The New York Times Co. says it is selling The Boston Globe and its related assets, in order to focus on its namesake newspaper.

Oil futures dropped Wednesday with the expiration of the March contract adding to volatility. March crude (NMN:CLH3) dropped $2.20, or 2.3%, to settle at $94.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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