Market Recap: Bears Keep POUNDING, NAKED Shorts, FOMC Minutes

Markets closed down on Wall Street today:  Dow -0.26%S&P -0.44%Nasdaq -0.68%Oil -1.42%Gold -1.14%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) declined to $92.63 a barrel. Precious metals also declined, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1539.00 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 0.91% to settle at $27.14.

Investing Insights: Gold & Silver Decline: George Soros Nearly Quadrupled Gold Stake in Q1.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

Employees at Merrill Lynch, a subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) discussed helping naked short-sales by market-maker clients via e-mails the banks attempted to keep secret. said in a court filing that a Merrill official told another to ignore compliance rules. It then accused Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs of manipulating its stock from 2005 to 2007, causing its shares to fall.

Robert Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed Wednesday that the agency has opened a “preliminary investigation” into JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) over a headline-making trade loss estimated at more than $2 billion. JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, disclosed the multi-billion dollar loss last week, saying it was due to a failed hedging strategy. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, said the loss was a “terrible, egregious mistake.”

April FOMC meeting minutes released on Wednesday revealed that some Federal Reserve officials have not expressed confidence in signs of a growth upturn to change their guidance that rates will probably stay very low until late 2014. Fed officials also showed uncertainty in economic forecasts to not make any changes to the guidance. On a positive note, some officials did express more confidence about the recovery’s durability while others noted inflation concerns.

The HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE Android phones are facing an  indefinite delay at US Customs for potentially infringing on an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent. The agency is currently investigating the patent issues with Apple according to The Washington Post. The One X is currently out of stock at AT&T’s (NYSE:T) online store and many retail stores did not know when more units would be available.

Don’t Miss: Apple Picks a Fight With HTC.