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S&P 500 Slumps as Fed Considers Reducing Bond Purchases

U.S. stocks dropped, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a third day of losses, after minutes from the Federal Reserve signaled the central bank may reduce bond purchases in the coming months.

J.C. Penney Co. jumped 8.4 percent as its sales decline abated in the third quarter. Yahoo! Inc. advanced 2.9 percent after the owner of the largest U.S. Internet portal boosted its stock-buyback plan by $5 billion. Deere & Co. rose 2.1 percent as it forecast better-than-estimated annual earnings on rising demand for construction and forestry machinery. Lowe’s Cos., the second-biggest home improvement retailer, slipped 6.2 percent after profit trailed analysts’ projections.