NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday as investors processed a barrage of economic data a day after the S&P 500 reached new highs driven by the Federal Reserve's pledge to maintain its $85 billion a month bond-buying program pending stronger evidence of a healthy U.S. economy.
The Fed on Wednesday said it will maintain its current level of asset purchases given that the unemployment rate remains "elevated," mortgage rates have risen and economic growth appears still to be restrained.
Bank stocks tumbled led by JPMorgan Chase (JPM)after the country's bank was hit with$920 million in finesby regulators in the U.S. and the UK, stemming from its massive hedge-trading losses in 2012. Shares lost 1.2% to $52.75. Wells Fargo (WFC)lost 0.85% to $42.96 as the bank confirmed plans for 1,800 additional layoffsof mortgage production staff, according to a Bloomberg report.
Bank of America (BAC) fell 0.7% to $14.61.
A spate of economic reports offered investors a mostly positive view of the U.S. economic recovery.
Existing home sales rose to their highest level in six-and-a-half yearsin August as median prices rose nearly 15% year-on-year, defying expectations for a slowdown caused by rising interest rates. Also, the Philly Fed index of manufacturing activity surged to 22.3 in September, reversing the deceleration seen during the previous month and coming in above expectations of a rise up to 10.
Meanwhile, the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators meanwhile showed a sharp rise in August following strong gains in July, marking a resumption of an upward trend after a brief pause.