Stocks Opened Lower on Stimulus Program Uncertainty

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, extending losses into a third session, as inverstors worried about the timing of cuts in the Federal Reserve’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 45.92 points, or 0.30%, to 15,472.82. The S&P 500 index declined 4.34 points, or 0.26%, to 1,693.03. The Nasdaq Composite shed 2.57 points, or 0.07%, to 3,663.20.

Gold fell to a three-week low on Wednesday. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,276.81 an ounce, having hit its lowest level since July 17 at $1,272.64 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures for December fell $5.80 to $1,276.80 an ounce. Bullion Vault lets you buy gold and silver bullion online at the lowest possible price. For more details see: http://www.bullionvault.com.

Signs the U.S. Federal Reserve might trim its stimulus program as soon as next month sparked a broad selloff in world share markets on Wednesday, as Britain’s central bank prepared to clarify its stance on future policy.

Potential buyers crept back into the U.S. housing market last week as applications for mortgages edged up, even though rates resumed their ascent, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 0.2 percent in the week ended Aug 2.

AOL Inc.(NYSE:AOL) said Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell 97% to $28.5 million, or 35 cents a share, from $970.8 million, or $10.17 a share, a year earlier. Total revenue edged up 2% to $541.3 million from $531.1 million a year earlier. The company also said it agreed to purchase Adap.tv for $405 million in an effort to boost its online-video segment.

Time Warner, owner of HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros., said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income jumped 87 percent, boosted by better results at its film and TV businesses. For the April-June period, Time Warner Inc. earned $771 million, or 81 cents ┬áper share. That’s up from $413 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 10 percent to $7.44 billion from $6.74 billion.

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