FED SPOOKS INVESTORS: Stock and bond prices fell Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed that the U.S. economy was improving steadily enough to warrant a reduction in its stimulus program in "coming months."
THE NUMBERS: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 66.21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,900.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 6.50 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,781.37 and the Nasdaq composite lost 10.28 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,921.27.
LIFE FOR J.C. PENNEY? Shares of J.C. Penney jumped 73 cents, or 8 percent, to $9.44. The department store chain reported a loss for the third quarter, but there were hopeful signs heading into the holiday shopping season. The company said its October sales increased for the first time since December 2011.