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U.S. Stocks Little Changed as Investors Weigh Stimulus




St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

U.S. stocks were little changed, erasing an early rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors weighed the possibility the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus plans and lawmakers criticized offshore corporate tax strategies.



Apple Inc. lost 0.6 percent as the company faced a Senate panel that yesterday released a report saying the iPhone maker used loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Carnival Corp. dropped 5.6 percent after the cruise operator lowered its profit projection for the second half of 2013. Home Depot Inc. jumped 1.8 percent after raising its earnings forecast. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 1.4 percent as Jamie Dimon was seen keeping his chairman and chief executive officer titles. The S&P 500 (SPX) fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,666.12 at 11:20 a.m. in New York, after rising as much as 0.3 percent earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 16.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,351.31. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was in line with the 30-day average during this time of day. “I suspect people will take the opportunity to take profits as they see how strong that message comes from the Federal Reserve,” Omar Aguilar, the San Francisco-based chief investment officer of equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management said in a telephone interview. The firm had $224 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31. “ The psychological effect on investor confidence is clearly the one that’s going to be at stake.” Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard speaks on central-bank policy at the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability at 5:30 p.m. in Frankfurt . Bullard said on April 17 that inflation had fallen too far below the Fed’s 2 percent target. He added that a further drop may prompt the central bank to increase its asset purchases. […]

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