U.S. Stocks Erase Losses as Consumer Shares Advance

U.S. stocks were little changed as consumer-discretionary and technology shares led gains, helping the market recover from early losses triggered by concern the Federal Reserve may taper monetary stimulus in coming months.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up less than 0.1 percent at 1,763.76 at 11:37 a.m. in New York after slipping as much as 0.4 percent earlier.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent from a record yesterday, halting four days of gains, as the Fed fueled bets it may begin to cut stimulus in the coming months. The central bank maintained $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, saying that while the economy shows signs of “underlying strength” it needs to see more evidence of sustainable improvement.

Economists at Citigroup Inc. and Barclays Plc said yesterday’s Fed policy statement opens the possibility of reduced bond purchases as soon as December. The odds of a taper in January rose to 45 percent, from 25 percent before the decision, according to Citigroup. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg Oct. 17-18 had predicted the Fed would begin paring stimulus in March.

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