U.S. stocks fall sharply as Fed uncertainty weigh on markets
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Persistent worries about when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its bond buying program had investors on edge once again Wednesday.
U.S. stocks fell sharply, extending the previous day’s slide, after major global markets also ended in the red.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 180 points, or 1.2%, falling below 15,000 for the first time since May 7. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each lost about 1.2%.
Fed uncertainty dominates: The biggest question mark facing investors is how much longer will the Fed continue to boost the economy.
Comments from various Fed officials over the past few weeks have whipsawed markets as investors try to gauge the central bank’s next move.
Investors have also been keeping close tabs on economic data for any additional clues.
Payroll-processor ADP said Wednesday that the private sector added 135,000 jobs in May, less than the 157,000 economists were expecting.
While the weak reading gave investors some hope that the Fed won’t pare back its bond buying program anytime soon, nerves remain frayed.
The ADP report is typically considered a prelude to the U.S. government’s closely watched monthly jobs report. That report is due before the bell Friday.