U.S. stocks dropped, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a third day of losses, after minutes from the Federal Reserve signaled the central bank may reduce bond purchases in the coming months.
J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) jumped 8.4 percent as its sales decline abated in the third quarter. Yahoo (YHOO)! Inc. advanced 2.9 percent after the owner of the largest U.S. Internet portal boosted its stock-buyback plan by $5 billion. Deere & Co. (DE) rose 2.1 percent as it forecast better-than-estimated annual earnings on rising demand for construction and forestry machinery. Lowe’s (LOW) Cos., the second-biggest home improvement retailer, slipped 6.2 percent after profit trailed analysts’ projections.
The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,781.37 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.4 percent to 15,900.82 and has topped 16,000 for three straight days before returning below the threshold. About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, in line with the three-month average.