Fed worries weigh on stock market investors

NEW YORK — Stocks overall had their worst day since August on Thursday as traders worried that the Federal Reserve could cut back on its economic stimulus. Concerns that the market, which has hit 33rd record highs this year, had come too far, too fast also weighed on investors’ minds.

The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 152.90 to close at 15,593.98 Thursday. The S&P 500 lost 23.34 to 1,747.15. The Nasdaq composite fell 74.61 to 3,857.33.

Twitter soars 73% in its highly anticipated IPO

NEW YORK — Shares of Twitter went on sale to the public for the first time Thursday, instantly leaping more than 70 percent above their offering price in a dazzling debut that exceeded even Wall Street’s lofty hopes.

The social network that reinvented global communication in 140-character bursts was valued at $31 billion by the closing bell. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TWTR,” shares opened at $45.10, 73 percent above their initial offering price. They closed at $44.90.

US shows solid growth, but spending weakens

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy showed surprising growth of 2.8 percent from July through September, just before the government’s partial shutdown. But much of the gain came from a buildup in company stockpiles.

Consumers and businesses slowed their spending — a cautionary sign for the current quarter and early 2014. Americans did purchase more autos and other long-lasting goods. Yet most analysts say the economy isn’t showing enough underlying strength to cause the Federal Reserve to scale back its stimulus any time soon.

The third quarter rate was up from a 2.5 percent rate in the previous quarter. It’s nearly a full point higher than economists had predicted.

Average rate for home loan at 4.16% this week

WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent from 3.20 percent.

Americans cut back on credit card use in Sept.

WASHINGTON — Americans cut back on using their credit cards in September for the fourth straight month, but boosted borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student debt.

Consumers increased their borrowing by $13.7 billion in September to a seasonally adjusted $3.05 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That is a record and follows a gain of $14.2 billion in August.

The increase was driven entirely by higher borrowing for car and student loans. Credit card debt fell $2.1 billion following a decline of $885 million in August.

Nestle sells Jenny Craig in N. America, Oceania

GENEVA — Nestle, the world’s biggest food and drink company, has sold off its weight management business Jenny Craig in North America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The company said the business was sold to U.S. private equity firm North Castle Partners. The financial terms were not disclosed. Jenny Craig, founded in 1983, had been part of Nestle’s nutrition portfolio since 2006.

Wire reports