Stocks fall after Fed minutes show policymakers had weighed a pullback on its stimulus program

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stocks are closing lower on news that several Federal Reserve policymakers favoured cutting back on stimulus programs as early as June if the economy continues to improve.

The release of minutes of the Fed’s April 30-May 1 meeting reversed a surge earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 80 points to 15,307 Wednesday, a loss of 0.5 per cent. It had risen 154 points after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress it was too early to cut back on the Fed’s bond-buying program.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 13 points to 1,655, or 0.8 per cent. The Nasdaq composite fell 38 points to 3,463, or 1.1 per cent.

Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavy at 4.3 billion shares.