OfficeMax and Office Depot Merge and Microsoft Ups Competition with Google: Market Recap

Push down by a mixed housing report from the U.S. Department of Commerce and news that U.S. Federal Reserve may slow or stop buying bonds sooner rather than later, the U.S. equity markets fell the most in three months.

At the close: DJIA: -0.77%, S&P 500: -1.24%, NASDAQ: -1.53%.

On the commodities front, WTI crude (NYSEARCA:USO) followed equities down and dropped 2.44 percent to $94.66 per barrel. The March contract expires on Wednesday. Brent also fell 2.02 percent. The yield on the 10-year T-bill fell 0.019 points to 2.010 percent.

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On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, fell 2.51 percent to settle at $1,564 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March plunged 3.08 to close at $28.62. The price of gold has now declined for five consecutive trading sessions to post its lowest close since July. Both precious metals witnessed heavy-selling pressure, as the U.S. dollar climbed higher…