Stocks Slide on Fed Tapering Worry

Stocks slid at the open on Thursday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined the start of a wind- down of stimuli that has been instrumental to the market’s rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately declined 138.47 points, or 0.92%, to 14,973.72 and the S&P 500 index slipped 14.58 points, or 0.90%, to 1,614.35.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 33.45 points, or 0.97%, to 3,409.75.

Bernanke said Wednesday the U.S. economy was expanding strongly enough for the Federal Reserve to begin slowing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus later this year.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but not enough to signal a material shift from the recent pace of moderate job growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Economists had expected first-time applications to rise to 340,000 last week.

Manufacturing activity growth slowed slightly in June as the pace of hiring and overseas demand weakened, making the second quarter the weakest for the sector in the last four, a survey showed on Thursday. Markit’s output index rose to 53.9, a three-month high, from 52.7 in May while the gauge of new orders also rose to its highest level since March, offering some hope. But the pace of hiring slowed to 50.4 from 52.6, reflecting the weakest rate of job creation since January 2010.

Kroger Co.’s (KR) fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 9.6% as the supermarket-chain operator benefited from continued sales growth, and the company raising its earnings guidance for the fiscal year. For the quarter ended May 25, the Kroger reported a profit of $481 million, or 92 cents a share, up from $439 million, or 78 cents a
share, a year earlier.

Airbus said Thursday it had racked up $68.7 billion of new business over the last four days at the Paris Air Show, taking firm orders and commitments for 466 of its commercial aircraft.

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