Oct 24 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks dip after Federal Reserve keeps policy intact as housing strengthens; Nobel economist says Fed to blame for crisis; Zynga/Boeing beat, Best Buy warns; Yahoo cuts 200 jobs. Conway Gittens reports.
Stocks slipped on Wednesday, adding to this week's big tumble, as the Federal Reserve offers no new clues on monetary policy. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each posting modest losses compared to the day before. Following a two-day meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and fellow policymakers decided to keep-up their bond buying program aimed at lowering the unemployment rate. The Fed acknowledged a pick-up in economic activity, notably housing, and new numbers back that up: sales of single family homes surged to a 2-1/2 year high in September. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has this view of the Fed: SOUNDBITE: JOSEPH STIGLITZ, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "How they could have thought markets were self-regulating to me was a totally mystery. It defied history, theory, experience and yet they did. And they delivered us into this great crisis from which we have not fully emerged." In corporate news: Zynga beat forecasts with a 3-percent gain in quarterly revenues, soothing concerns after a warning earlier this month. Yahoo is letting go of 200 workers tied to the shutdown of its Korean business. And the head of Best Buy's U.S. division is out by the end of the year. The consumer electronics chain is also warning this quarter's profits will be way down from a year ago. Aerospace and defense giant Boeing exceeded forecasts and raised guidance for the year. But there are concerns about next year with federal cuts expected to hit defense budgets. Looking at defense stocks - a small decline for Boeing and Northrop Grumman, but a 2 percent jump for Lockheed Martin. Finally, encouraging data out of China gave European investors a reason to feel a little bit better about the global economy and do a little bit of buying.