The markets seesawed throughout today's session, closing down slightly as a minor rally in financials offset bad economic news and warnings of a poor quarter for UPS, MarketWatch reports. The Dow fell 34.93 to 11,807.43, Nasdaq dropped 17.46 to 2,368.28, and the S&P 500 lost 3.71 to finish at 1,314.29.
As the Fed began its 2-day meeting, the Conference Board announced that consumer confidence plummeted to a 16-year low this month. Despite that and the biggest tumble in home prices in 8 years, most key financials eked out gains on the expectation that the Fed will not hike interest rates. Volume was light, with NYSE decliners outpacing advancing stocks 2 to 1.