A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - Traders are looking ahead to a critical Federal Reserve meeting next week.
Without any major economic news yesterday, traders grappled with the question hanging over financial markets: When will the Fed and other central banks pull back their economic stimulus programs?
The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 127 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,995. The Dow had its first three-day loss of the year and its second close below 15,000 in the past month.
The S&P 500 fell 13 1/2 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,612. All 10 industry groups in the S&P index dropped, led by consumer-discretionary and utility companies.
The Nasdaq composite sank 36 ½ points, or 1 percent, to 3,400.
Markets have turned turbulent in recent weeks as traders start preparing for a time when central banks around the world aren't pumping as much money into the financial system.