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Stocks fall on Wall Street after Fed update

Posted at 7:05 AM, Oct 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-31 07:05:23-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. stock futures declined Thursday and global markets retreated as investors digested the latest statement from the Federal Reserve.

U.S. stock futures fell roughly 0.3%, pulling back from all-time highs.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will maintain its $85 billion per month stimulus program — also known as quantitative easing or QE — which has helped support stocks around the world by pumping cash into the financial markets.

But some investors had hoped the Fed would adopt a more dovish tone in its statement. There were also expectations that the central bank would be more explicit as to the impact of the recent government shutdown on economic growth.

London-based CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said the failure to address the shutdown “appears to have caught the market off guard, given the recent and likely continued deterioration in economic data.”

While the last day of October looks downbeat for stocks, the S&P 500 index has rallied nearly 5% this month, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has run up more than 3%.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s economic reports, the Department of Labor releases weekly U.S. initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.

A report out Wednesday from payroll processor ADP showed private sector employers added just 130,000 jobs in October — the lowest level since April.

Investors are also expecting earnings updates from Exxon Mobil, Estee Lauder and the New York Times in the morning.

Facebook reported earnings after the bell Wednesday that beat expectations. The stock initially soared 15% in after-hours trading, then slumped when the company said the number of teen users who were visiting the social networking site on a daily basis had fallen.

European markets were declining in morning trading. Nearly all Asian markets ended in the red. Japan’s Nikkei slid 1.2% as the country’s central bank opted to maintain its massive stimulus program.

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