Wall St slides on Fed worries

United States stocks post third consecutive losing session as Fed uncertainty weighs on global outlook, shares.

United States stocks closed lower for a third consecutive session, following a four% drop in Japan's Nikkei 225 index and declines in several other foreign markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 48.07 points, or 0.31%, to close at 15,470.67 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 close down 6.46 points, or 0.38%, to 1,690.91 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 11.76 points, or 0.32%, to close at 3,654.01 points.

US equity markets have declined amid more indications that the US Federal Reserve could trim back its bond-buying program in the coming months.

Two Fed officials said earlier this week that they would not rule out beginning to taper the Fed's stimulus spending as soon as September.

Analysts said markets are still digesting recent gains after the barrage of corporate earnings and economic data releases in recent weeks.

"The market is taking a breather as it awaits info that could provide the next catalyst," said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

"We are taking some time to digest the recent gains," said Art Hogan of Lazard Capital Markets.

Wall Street's losses in the previous session were their largest since June.

The plunge in Japanese stocks came during a two-day meeting of the Bank of Japan and as the yen rose against the dollar. Indices in Britain and Germany were also lower on Wednesday.

British shares fell 1% after the Bank of England outlined its stance on future monetary policy, disappointing investors.

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