The share of economists predicting the Federal Reserve will reduce bond buying in December doubled after a government report showed back-to-back monthly payroll gains of 200,000 or more for the first time in almost a year.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, a voter on policy this year, said the Fed may buy a total of $1.5 trillion in bonds in a program that started in January 2013 to ensure steady employment gains.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, a voter on policy this year who has backed record stimulus, said lowering the unemployment threshold for a possible interest-rate increase would risk credibility when the focus should be on raising inflation.
U.S. stocks fell after disappointing forecasts from Best Buy Co. and Campbell Soup Co. while investors awaited a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to gauge the prospect of continued stimulus.
Stocks fell, with Europe’s benchmark index slipping from a five-year high and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropping a second day, as investors weighed rising valuations and disappointing earnings forecasts. Treasuries retreated while natural gas led commodity losses.
U.K. regulators will discuss a possible investigation tomorrow into Co-Operative Bank Plc and its former chairman, Paul Flowers, according to a person familiar with the plans, after Flowers’s apology Nov. 17 following media reports that he bought illegal drugs.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, an advocate of monetary stimulus, said fiscal strife in Washington will probably delay the central bank’s tapering of its monthly bond purchases.