Stocks are fading into the close of trading on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve revealed a split among its policymakers over how long to continue an economic stimulus program.
The market started on a weak note Thursday following mixed holiday sales reports from retailers and the prospect of another fiscal fight looming in Congress over the nation's borrowing limit.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 21 points at 13,391. The Dow surged 308 points the day before, its biggest gain in more than a year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost three points to end at 1,459. The Nasdaq composite lost 11 to end at 3,100.
Rising stocks outnumbered falling ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was 3.8 billion shares, above the recent average.