- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
Stocks stay lower despite urgency in Fed minutes
The delay could set up a confrontation with Germany, which has been growing impatient. Germany’s key stock index, the DAX, fell 1 percent, and France’s CAC 40 slipped 1.5 percent.
Earlier in the day, Asian markets closed down after Japan posted a trade deficit for July, reversing a year-ago surplus and adding to signs of a global economic slowdown.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index shed 0.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.4 percent and mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.5 percent.
Bond traders have become skittish about the Asian slowdown and the debt crisis in Europe. Investors returned to the haven of U.S. Treasurys, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year down to 1.72 percent from 1.81 percent late Tuesday.
Riding an improving housing market, high-end homebuilder Toll Brothers reported 46 percent growth in its quarterly net income after delivering more homes at higher prices to its customers. Its stock rose $1.20, close to 4 percent, to $33.01.
Toll Brothers caters to the luxury sector, which has withstood the economic downturn better than others. Its target market includes households that making more than $100,000 a year, with better credit and more job security.
The Commerce Department reported last week that applications for building permits rose to their highest level since August 2008, which signals that construction companies are growing more confident about the housing landscape.
Other homebuilder stocks also made big gains: PulteGroup gained 50 cents, or close to 4 percent, at $13.29 and Lennar rose $1.17, or close to 4 percent, at $32.35.
Among other stocks making big moves Wednesday:
• Dell slumped more than 5 percent and traded near a 52-week low. It was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500. The computer maker said PC sales remained weak in its fiscal second quarter, and it forecast a disappointing third quarter and lowered its full-year profit forecast. Its stock slid 66 cents to $11.68.
• Williams-Sonoma jumped close 12 percent after the kitchen and home store chain reported a 10 percent jump in profit. Its stock rose $4.45 to $42.68.
• Fifth Third Bancorp’s stock shot to a 52-week high after the Fed allowed the bank to raise its dividend and buy back more of its own stock. The Cincinnati regional bank’s stock was up 3 percent to $14.81, a jump of 42 cents. The stock had reached $15.02 in morning trading, a high for the past year.
• Discover Financial Services stock gained 4 percent, or $1.43, to $38.43 after announcing a partnership with PayPal. More than 7 million stores that take Discover cards will be able to process PayPal payments beginning next year.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- James Bond: The spy who is really an alcoholic
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
A conservative commentator and satirist takes on the worlds of politics and entertainment in pursuit of truth, justice and all things America.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow