U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday, as investors weighed remarks from St. Louis Federal Reserve (Fed) President James Bullard, who delivered two speeches in Paducah.
In U.S. economic news, Bullard is a voting member on the Fed's policy-making committee, and he has recently said he fears inflation is too low. Investors are taking a magnifying glass to all Fed speeches lately for hints of when it will start to slow its bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing or QE for short.
In international economic news, there was encouraging news that Europe's recession is over. Gross domestic product (GDP) across the 17-nation eurozone grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter, led by a rebound in the region's two biggest economies, Germany and France.
The dollar rose versus the euro and the yen, but fell against the pound. Light sweet crude oil for September delivery gained 2 cents to $106.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures climbed $12.90 to $1,333.40 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 113.35, or 0.73 percent, to 15,337.66. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8.77, or 0.52 percent, to 1,685.39. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 15.17, or 0.41 percent, to 3,669.27.