Futures ease back as Fed alters course

NEW YORK (AP) — Futures are easing back after the Fed announced a partial winding down of its massive economic stimulus program.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial futures are down 20 points to 16,089 on Thursday. S&P futures have lost 2.7 points to 1,802. Nasdaq futures are down 8.75 points to 3,499.75. Stocks surged Wednesday after the Fed shifted course, with the Dow hitting another record high.

RIPPLE EFFECT: The 10-year Treasury yield is near its high for the year. Precious metal prices began to sink almost immediately after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would trim its $85 billion a month in bond purchases by $10 billion. Gold futures slid below $1,200 per ounce for the first time since June. Silver prices are down almost 4 percent. It could be the first annual price decline for gold in more than a decade.

TARGET TARGETED: Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised by a data breach that happened just as shoppers flooded into stores for Black Friday. Customers who used credit cards between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 at the store may be exposed. The Secret Service says it is investigating.

FACEBOOK FALLS: Facebook will sell 70 million shares, including more than 41 million held by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Shares are down about 3 percent before the opening bell.

LOBSTER ROLL: Darden Restaurants says it may sell of Red Lobster and it's suspended the opening of any new Olive Garden locations. The restaurant operator has struggled since the recession and wrestled with changing consumer trends.

EMPLOYMENT PICTURE: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week, but there may be some volatility from the holidays baked into that number. Still, the Labor Department is reporting the less volatile four-week average jumped 13,250 to 343,250. That was the second straight increase in the four-week average and the weekly applications have hit levels not seen since March.

HOMES AND MORTGAGES: The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in November. Economists forecast that re-sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.06 million, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be down from a 5.12 million pace in October. Freddie Mac reports on changes in average fixed mortgage rates.

GLOBAL MARKETS: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.9 percent at 6,547 while Germany's DAX rose 1.4 percent to 9,309. The CAC-40 in France was 1.3 percent higher at 4,163. Solid performances were recorded by Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index, the region's biggest market, which closed up 1.7 percent to 15,859.22. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 added 2.1 percent to 5,202.20.