U.S. stocks fell and Treasury yields jumped on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending losses into a third day, after Federal Reserve minutes showed central bankers generally expect economic conditions would support tapering central bank asset purchases in coming months.
Fed officials anticipate that economic reports would "prove consistent with the committee's outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pact of purchases in coming months," according to the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's Oct. 29-30 meeting.
"The market is still expecting a taper next year, not in December of this year," said Dean Junkans, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank. "I don't think we got much additional information. They talked a lot about their communication strategy; I think that's appropriate," added Junkans, referring to the market's surprise when the Fed opted not to begin curbing its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases in September.
"Unless we see big upside in the November payroll report, Yellen will take the reins in January with current policy on track and she'll decide where to go from there," offered Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, emailed.
Regardless, "the U.S. Treasury market is tapering before our eyes... and that should be the focus of equity investors," added Boockvar of 10-year Treasury yields, used to determine mortgage rates and other consumer loans, which climbed 9 basis points to 2.8 percent.