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Stocks fall after Fed minutes show policymakers had weighed a pullback on its stimulus program

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In this Aug. 11, 2010 photo, specialist John Urbanowicz, left, talks with a colleague on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are opening Wednesday, May 22, 2013, slightly higher as investors watch for the latest moves from the Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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NEW YORK — Stocks closed lower today on news that several Federal Reserve policymakers favored cutting back on stimulus programs as early as June if the economy continues to improve.

The release of minutes of the Fed’s April 30-May 1 meeting reversed a surge earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 80 points to 15,307 today, a loss of 0.5 percent. It had risen 154 points after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress it was too early to cut back on the Fed’s bond-buying program.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 13 points to 1,655, or 0.8 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell 38 points to 3,463, or 1.1 percent.

Three stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavy at 4.3 billion shares.

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