Updated from 2:53 p.m. ET with market close information and comment from Rafferty Capital Markets analyst Richard Bove.
The broad indices all ended lower on a day with no major economic reports scheduled. Investors are looking ahead to Wednesday's release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting in July, for clues on when the Federal Reserve might lower its monthly bond purchases.
Another major Federal Reserve event is the annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Aug. 22 to 24. According to KBW analyst Brian Gardner, "Given the lack of a keynote speech by Fed officials at Jackson Hole, the minutes will probably be the more significant of the two events this week as the markets search for further clues on the timing as well as the composition of tapering of large scale asset purchases."Janet Yellen -- vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board and considered the frontrunner by many to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke next year -- will not be giving a speech at the Jackson Hole Conference. However, she will moderate a panel discussion on Friday. "[W]e expect every word she utters to be dissected," Gardner wrote in a note to clients on Friday. With reports last week showing a significant increase in housing starts and a continued decline in first-time unemployment claims, investors are increasingly concerned over a major change in Federal Reserve policy. The central bank has been expanding its balance sheet through net monthly purchases of $40 billion in long-term agency mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury bonds since last September. The market yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury Bonds rose 27 basis points last week, and was up another five basis points early Monday afternoon to a two-year high of 2.88%. The 10-year yield has risen from 1.70% at the end of April, as investors have anticipated a tapering of Fed bond purchases. KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) down 1.3% to close at 63.85, with all but 24 index components showing afternoon declines except for Commerce Bancshares (CBSH), which was up slightly to close at $44.99.
JPMorgan ChaseJPMorgan's shares dipped Monday after a weekend report in the New York Times DealBook said the company was facing a civil investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the bank's hiring practices in China.
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