Daily Data Flow: Fed Minutes Continue to Lower Stocks; Ford Increases U.S. Jobs and Engine Production; Euro Down ahead of Italian Election

Fed Minutes Continue to Drag Stocks Down (Bloomberg)
Yesterday’s release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which cast doubt on further stimulus action, continued to affect stocks today, contributing to a second straight day of decline. ???The timeliness of the Fed???s comments coming out took a little bit of the excess out of the stock market,??? Tim Hartzell, chief investment officer at Sequent Asset Management in Houston, said. ???Equities really had gotten ahead of itself with just the belief that there???s always going to be $85 billion come into the market from the Fed.???

Ford Increases U.S. Jobs and Engine Production (CNBC)
In response to rising demand for more fuel efficient models, Ford is adding $200 million and 450 workers to its Cleveland Engine Plant, which, once its expansion is completed late in 2014, will begin constructing 2.0 liter EcoBoost engines. “We are maxed with our production of the 2 liter EcoBoost because of the demand we are seeing in products like the new Fusion and Escape,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas. “So we are going to bring production here to add capacity globally and produce it right here in the United States.”

Euro Low in Anticipation of Italian Election (Reuters)
Hitting a six-week low versus the U.S. dollar and its lowest point against the Japanese yen in three weeks, the euro fell today. Responsible are uncertainty regarding Italy’s election this weekend and purchasing manager’s data which pointed to continued weakness in the region. “The PMI news is not good and shows the euro zone is under economic duress, and you add to the current uncertainty ahead of the Italian elections and we have a euro that is struggling to get ahead,” said Matthew Lifson, senior trader and analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Princeton, New Jersey.