July 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fluctuated after benchmark indexes closed at records yesterday, as Federal Reserve officials gave opposing views on the timing of stimulus reduction and United Parcel Service Inc. cut its forecast.
UPS fell 5.8 percent as it lowered its forecast for earnings in 2013, citing a slowing economy in the second quarter. Boeing Co. plunged 4.6 percent after the U.K.’s Sky TV reported a parked 787 Dreamliner had caught fire at London’s Heathrow Airport. Financial stocks rose the most out of 10 S&P 500 group after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. reported earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.
The S&P 500 dropped less than 0.1 percent to 1,674.62 at 1:36 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 29.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,431.20. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 12 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.
"The market is catching its breath after a big push to a record high," Alan Gayle, senior strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management, said by telephone from Atlanta. His firm oversees about $48 billion. "The market is encouraged by the earnings releases so far but UPS was disappointing. That’s a good GDP bellwether stock. When they give lowered guidance, investors will watch very carefully."
The S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent to a record 1,675.02 yesterday after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke backed sustained monetary stimulus. The gauge has added 2.6 percent in the past five days, headed for a third straight week of gains. The rally has helped to erase losses since Bernanke first signaled the Fed may trim its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases later this year.
Fed Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser, who has opposed the central bank’s current round of asset purchases, said the Fed should begin tapering its bond buying in September and end the unorthodox stimulus by year-end.
"I don’t want to do it all at once, but I think we should begin to taper very soon and hopefully end it by the end of this year," Plosser said today in a Bloomberg Television interview with Michael McKee to air July 15. "That would be a healthy thing for the economy. We can do it gradually."
Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the Fed shouldn’t trim its monthly bond purchases until inflation accelerates toward the central bank’s 2 percent goal.
"Pulling back on accommodation as inflation is sinking is not the right combination," Bullard, who votes on monetary policy this year, said in a separate interview with Bloomberg TV.