NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks fell Friday extending June's decline to 1.5%, the first monthly retreat for the S&P 500 since October as investors struggled to sort through the mixed messages from Federal Reserve officials about a timeline for curbing the central bank's stimulus measure.
The S&P 500 fell 0.4% to close the month at 1,606.28. The index rose 0.87% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8% to 14,909.66. The blue-chip index increased 0.74% for the week. The Nasdaq gained 0.04% to 3,403.25. The tech-heavy index jumped 1.4% over the past five trading sessions.
Confusion about the Fed's schedule for winding down its quantitative easing program increased Friday after Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein indicated the central bank could begin curbing its bond-buying program in September, which somewhat went against the comments from other Fed officials this week that tapering would be very gradual.
Elsewhere, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said during an economic outlook speech in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to expect volatility to stay in the markets so long as the debate on the timeline for reducing the asset purchases was ongoing. Following up on Stein's views, Lacker said he was skeptical of the notion that there could be any additional benefits from the continuation of the bond buying and was more concerned about the potential risks tied to further balance sheet expansion.The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 6/32, boosting the yield to 2.493%. During a speech on monetary policy to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Stein urged investors to not look so much nonfarm payrolls data that is released going into the month's meeting. He cautioned that any move by the central bank to wind down stimulus will likely be decided according to economic numbers that preceded those jobs numbers and had been released since the Fall 2012 period when QE3 was launched, in assessing the overall U.S. recovery and in order to lessen potential volatility in the markets. "The best approach is for the
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV