Wall Street Update

Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday as the minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting showed less chance for further quantitative easing in the near future.

The minutes of the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting showed that the policymakers acknowledged recent signs of slightly stronger growth but still remained cautious about a broad pickup in U.S. economic activity.

The minutes also signaled that the Fed is less willing to launch a third round of quantitative easing policy, given the current growing economy.

On economic front, according to data from the Commerce Department, U.S. factory orders rose 1.3 percent in February after a revised 1.1-percent decline in January. It fell short of economists’ estimates of 1.5-percent increase.

Meanwhile, investors also worried about the euro zone situations, especially Spain.

The Spanish government said its debt to gross domestic product ratio will soar to 79.8 percent in 2012, the highest level since 1990.

The country’s labor market also concerns investors as the number of people filling for unemployment benefits in Spain rose by nearly 39,000 in March to over 4.75 million.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.94 points, or 0.49 percent, at 13,199.55. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 5.66 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,413.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 6.13 points, or 0.20 percent, to 3,113.57.

As for other markets, the U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Tuesday, with the dollar index gaining 0.79 percent to 79.44, as the minutes of Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting indicated no additional easing measures.

Crude prices retreated on Tuesday after the big rally on the previous trading day as investors trimmed positions and the Federal Reserve saw little need for additional monetary stimulus.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery slipped 1.22 dollars, or 1. 16 percent to settle at 104.01 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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