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Is Taper Terror Sinking the Dow?

Amanda Alix
December 3, 2013

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) is looking down in the dumps today, having dropped 120 points with about an hour left in the trading session. Without much economic news on tap today, the slump could be a reaction to some glad tidings yesterday that may be reigniting fears of a Federal Reserve move to taper its quantitative-easing program earlier than expected.

One early-morning announcement may also be fueling taper fears: November car sales. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend appears to have goosed auto sales, with all three U.S. automakers saying that sales were especially strong in November -- particularly toward the end of the month. Overall, sales rose about 7% from the same time last year.

Big banks drop by late morning
Both JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) are in the red, more or less pacing the broader market. Apparently, investors weren't impressed with JPMorgan's $11 million payday for its work advising the U.K.'s Co-operative Bank on its recent takeover of the Britannia Building Society.