Stocks Closed Sharply Lower after Fed, Dow Below 15,000

U. S. stocks ended sharply lower on Wednesday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July policy-setting meeting offered few clues on a time frame for a reduction in its bond-buying program. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 105.44 points, or 0.70%, at 14,897.55. The S&P 500 index shed 9.55 points, or 0.586%, to 1,642.80. The Nasdaq Composite shed 13.80 points, or 0.38%, to 3,599.79.

A few Federal Reserve officials thought last month it would soon be time to slow the pace of their bond buying “somewhat” but others counseled patience, according to meeting minutes that offered little hint on when the U.S. central bank might reduce its purchases. The minutes of the Fed’s July 30-31 meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that almost all of the 12 members of the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee agreed changing the stimulus was not yet appropriate.

H.P. reported net income in the third fiscal quarter of $1.39 billion, or 71 cents a share. A year ago, H.P. reported a loss of $8.9 billion, based on a write-down of various assets. Excluding those charges, H.P. posted profit of 98 cents a share. The company said revenue fell 8 percent to $27.2 billion, from $29.7 billion a year ago.

German automotive parts maker Continental AG is close to agreeing alliances with Google and IBM to develop autonomous driving systems for cars, a German newspaper reported.

Wells Fargo is cutting 2,300 jobs from in the mortgage production unit, the company said on Wednesday. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo was the largest employer among U.S.

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