The broad indices ended mixed, pulling back after the
(SPX.X) hit another intraday high as second-quarter earnings reports continued to flow.
(DD) was among the companies beating consensus earnings estimates with second-quarter EPS of $1.28, although sales missed estimates. The company also said it was considering "strategic options" for its core Performance Chemicals business, the sale of which
could threaten DuPont's status as a component of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was up slightly to close at 66.71, although nine of the 24 index components were up for the session.
The tiresome focus on the Federal Reserve continues, as the Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet on July 30-31, after which it will release a statement on central bank policy. The Fed has kept the short-term federal funds rate in a range of zero to 0.25% since late 2008, and has been making monthly purchases of $85 billion in long-term securities since September, in an effort to hold long-term interest rates down as well.Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress last week included several indications that the "highly accommodative" will continue for some time, soothing the market and continuing the long rally for stocks. Credit Suisse Neal Soss in a the firm's research summary on Tuesday wrote "We expect the FOMC will incorporate more details about its asset purchase intentions into its official statement, describing plans to taper and eventually end its net new monthly purchases of MBS and Treasuries." Soss added that the next FOMC statement "likely will cement the idea of a September tapering into the markets' collective psyche. This risks a bearish fixed-income reaction, given the market's recent proclivity to react to anything taper-related, regardless of how well or frequently it has been telegraphed previously."