(By Balaseshan) U.S. stocks ended on a lower note amid hopes about further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
S&P 500 Index shed 0.60 percent to finish at 1,429.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.38 percent to end at 13,255.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.03 percent to close at 3,104.11.
Investors keenly anticipating the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day policy meeting that starts on September 12 where it could announce new stimulus measures.
Consumer credit for the first time in nearly a year fell in July as Americans reduced card debt. The Federal Reserve said consumer borrowing drop by $3.28 billion in July, lower than the $9.1 billion increase economists had expected.
However, the Fed revised substantially higher its credit growth estimate in June. In July, revolving credit, which includes credit cards, declined by $4.82 billion. Non-revolving credit increased by $1.55 billion.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GERN, AIG, HPQ, PXP, BP, ZLCS, TITN, MLNX
In corporate news, American International Group Inc.(NYSE:AIG) shed 1.65 percent after the U.S. Treasury Department plans to sell most of its stake in the insurer. The Treaury has launched a public offering of $18 billion of its AIG common stock, at par value of $2.50 per share. AIG has indicated that it intends to purchase up to $5 billion of its stock in the offering held by the treasury.
Geron Corp. (NASDAQ:GERN) plunged 56.55 percent after the biopharmaceutical company discontinued its phase 2 study of experimental drug imetelstat to treat breast cancer. The company does not expect imetelstat to go forward to the next stage study to treat non-small cell lung cancer, but will continue the current mid-stage study.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) gained 0.88 percent amid the company's plan to cut 29,000 jobs, raising the total number of layoffs by 2,000 over the next two years, to focus on attractive growth potential segments.
Plains Exploration & Production Co. (NYSE:PXP) lost 9.27 percent after the company agreed to buy certain oil and natural gas interests in Gulf of Mexico from BP Plc (NYSE:BP) for $5.55 billion in cash.
Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ:ZLCS) plunged 43.34 percent after the bio-pharmaceutical company said it will discontinue further clinical development with Synavive in rheumatoid arthritis. The company achieved primary endpoint compared to placebo but missed key secondary endpoint compared to prednisolone.
Titan Machinery Inc. (NASDAQ:TITN) dropped 22.83 percent after equipment stores operator's quarterly earnings missed Street's expectations and lowered its full year 2012 profit forecast below consensus.
Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) fell 9.11 percent after the fabless semiconductor company said its finance chief Michael Gray will retire, effective November 5. Further, the board has named Jacob Shulman, Mellanox's vice president of finance, as new chief financial officer, with effect from November 5.
European markets ended in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.01 percent to close at 7,213.70. France's CAC40 shed 0.37 percent to finish at 3,506.05. U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged 0.03 percent lower to end at 5,793.20.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 0.34 percent to finish at 2,134.89. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.03 percent to end at 8,869.37. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.13 percent to close at 19,827.17. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,766.78, up 0.10 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures gained 0.11 percent to $96.530 per barrel while natural gas futures climbed 5.26 percent to $2.82 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures dipped 0.31 percent to $1,732.2 per ounce and silver futures shed 0.17 percent to $33.58 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dipped 0.41 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2765. The British pound shed 0.11 percent against the greenback to 1.5994, while the dollar edged 0.04 percent higher against the Japanese yen to 78.2800.