Stocks edged lower on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve started a two-day policy meeting that may herald the beginning of the end for its economic stimulus.
Few expect that the Fed will announce that it plans to pare back its huge bond-buying program after its meeting wraps up on Wednesday. However, good news on the U.S. economy this month, including a blockbuster jobs report, and a budget deal in Washington appeared to have increased the likelihood of a change.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.31 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 15,875.26.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 5.54 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,781.
The Nasdaq composite declined 5.84 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,023.68.
For the week so far:
The Dow is up 119.90 points, or 0.8 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 5.68 points, or 0.3 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 1,004.17 points, or 0.6 percent.
For the year so far:
The Dow is up 2,771.12 points, or 21.2 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 354.81 points, or 24.9 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 1,004.17 points, or 33.3 percent.