NEW YORK, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended in negative territory on Wednesday amid ongoing concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's possible tapering of its monetary stimulus as early as in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 113.35 points, or 0.73 percent, to 15,337.66 points. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index shed 8.77 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,685.39 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 15.17 points, or 0.41 percent, to 3, 669.27 points.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Wednesday that the central bank needs to see more data before it starts to wind down the massive bond buying programs. But the dovish comments failed to push the major stock indices higher.
On the previous trading day, the market rebounded on remarks from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart. He said recent mixed economic data does not present a clear picture for the Fed to decide whether to scale back its monetary stimulus in September.
On the economic front, the U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.8 percent in June and 0.5 percent in May, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday.
Excluding food and energy, the so-called "core" index for finished goods edged up 0.1 percent in July, marking the ninth consecutive increase, the department added.
"Benign producer prices make it easier for retailers to maintain margins without raising consumer prices," FTN Financial Chief Economist Christopher Low commented in a note on Wednesday.
Most of European shares rose on Wednesday, as data showed the eurozone economy emerged from recession after growing 0. 3 percent in the second quarter of the year, ending a record-long contraction in the past consecutive four quarters. But the upbeat data provided little momentum to the U.S. market.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, increased 5.93 percent to end at 13.04.
In corporate news, shares of Macy's Inc. dropped 4.47 percent to 46.33 U.S. dollars apiece after the retail department store posted a lower-than-expected second-quarter profit before the opening bell.
Apple shares ended 1.82 percent higher to 498.50 dollars apiece after breaking through 500 dollars apiece in earlier trading session for the first time since late January, a day after activist investor Carl Icahn said on Twitter that he had a "large position" in the tech giant.
In other markets, oil prices were little changed on Wednesday though data showed that U.S. crude inventories dropped more than expected last week.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 2 cents, to settle at 106.85 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While Brent for September delivery went up 38 cents, to close at 110.2 dollars a barrel.
Gold future for December delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange advanced 12.9 dollar to settle at 1, 333.4 dollars per ounce on a soft dollar on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar weakened against most major currencies on Wednesday. In late New York trading, the British pound increased to 1.5506 dollars from 1.5446 dollars.