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Stocks flat day after big surge

A trader watches the markets climb on Dec.

A trader watches the markets climb on Dec. 18, 2014 at the New York Stock Exchange after the Federal Reserve said the economy is strong enough to reduce the stimulus. Credit: AP

U.S. stock indexes ended up pretty much where they started on Thursday after markets surged a day earlier to record highs.

The market gained the most in more than two months Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it was trimming its stimulus efforts. Investors saw the decision as a vote of confidence in the economy.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.06 percent to close at 1,809.60. The Dow Jones industrial average eked out a gain of 11.11 points to 16,179.08. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.29 percent to 4,058.13.

The S&P 500 is up 0.1 percent for the month after moving into the green for the first time in December following Wednesday's big rally. If the gains hold, the index will have advanced for 10 months of this year.

The price of gold dropped $41.40, or 3.4 percent, to close at $1,193.60 an ounce. Gold hadn't settled below $1,200 an ounce in more than three years. Interest rates are rising, and the dollar is gaining after the Fed said it would pare back its bond purchases. Traders are selling gold because they see less risk of inflation from the Fed's stimulus program.

-- AP

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