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Snapshot: Day ends down amid guessing about Fed

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The Fed guessing game threw the markets for another loop as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City cited “improving economic conditions” and evidence that financial markets are growing dependent on the Fed’s support. He called for slowing down the Fed’s stimulus program. It’s clear the Fed’s next step will be to pare its bond-buying, but no one knows when. So traders have been trying to out-guess each other. The next big clue will be the monthly jobs survey, due Friday. A weak report could encourage stock investors; it would imply the Fed will keep buying bonds to juice the economy. The S&P 500 fell 0.6%; it had lost as much as 1%.

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