Stocks down; Fed moves seem less like a sure thing

By Christina Rexrode

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Trader Michael Liloia, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, June 1, 2012.

Richard Drew, AP

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are trading lower at mid-day on new pessimism over the Federal Reserve's willingness to employ new measures that would prop up the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 83 points to 13,090. The Standard & Poor's 500 is down six to 1,407. The Nasdaq composite is down 10 to 3,064.

A market rally was sparked Wednesday afternoon when the Fed, with momentum appearing to stall, appeared to hint that it was more willing to take action to nudge the economy along. However, speaking on CNBC Thursdasy, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said he wasn't sure if a program, such as government-sponsored bond buying, was needed.

Hewlett-Packard and the retailer Big Lots are leading the S&P downward after reporting disappointing results.

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