Stocks ended near session lows Thursday pressured by a handful of weak economic data and as some Fed officials stated their openness to tapering the central bank's bond-buying program in the coming months.
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Stocks took a leg lower in the final hour of trading after San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said the central bank could begin easing up on the monetary gas pedal this summer and end its bond buys late this year if the job market improves. Earlier this morning, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the central bank should reduce asset purchases starting next month.
"Maybe the Williams comment was a catalyst, but it's not like he said 'I want to taper now' and I think the market responded to that," said a trader. "The voting members stayed dovish and the non-dovish members talked about tapering."
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