Stocks Sink After Bank of Japan Disappoints

U.S. stocks started sharply lower on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan disappointed some investors by holding its policy steady, and worries about Federal Reserve tapering continued to haunt the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135.70 points to 15,102.89. The S&P 500 index shed 18.60 points to 1,624.21. The Nasdaq Composite declined 46.61 points
to 3,427.15.

Japan’s central bank ended a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday with an upbeat assessment for the world’s No. 3 economy and a pledge to persist with its aggressive monetary easing policies aimed at ending years of growth-sapping deflation. ┬áThe Bank of Japan refrained, however, from taking further action to curb unusual volatility in the market for Japanese government bonds that has raised concern over the potential impact of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic strategies on the country’s rising public debt.

Small business optimism rose to a one year-high in May, a hopeful sign for an economy that has hit a soft patch. The  National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index increased 2.3 points to 94.4 last month, the highest level since May last year.

Boeing (BA.N) upgraded its 20-year forecast for airplane demand as aerospace firms heading to next week’s Paris Airshow look beyond the financial crisis to pin their hopes on Asia.

Dole Food Co Inc (DOLE.N), one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of fruit and fresh vegetables, received an unsolicited buyout offer from Chief Executive David Murdock valuing the company at just over $1 billion.

SoftBank Corp. agreed with Sprint Nextel Corp. to raise its offer for the wireless carrier by 7.5% to $21.6 billion to try to ward off a competing bid from Dish Network Corp. But it remained uncertain whether the move will clinch the deal.

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