A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - The guessing game over when the Federal Reserve might start easing back on its stimulus continues to send the markets through gyrations.
In prepared remarks, the president of the Federal Reserve's Kansas City branch points to "improving economic conditions" and signs that financial markets are becoming dependent on the Fed's support as reasons she supports "slowing the pace of asset purchases." Esther George also warns that "waiting too long to acknowledge the economy's progress and prepare markets for more-normal policy settings carries no less risk than tightening too soon."
George was unable to give the speech in Santa Fe, N.M., because she was sick, but the Kansas City Fed posted the remarks on its website.
While George has voiced that view before, it was enough to stir speculation among traders about when the Fed will act.
The Dow ended Tuesday trading with 76-point loss, closing at 15,177. The S&P 500 fell nine points to 1,631, and the Nasdaq dropped 20 to 3,445.