The U.S. equity markets ended the week on a down note as investors pondered the possibility of a pullback of stimulus measures by the world’s central banks.

Referred to as tapering, the expectation is that the Fed at some point soon will begin scaling back its $85 billion monthly bond buying program — the question is centered on when that will occur.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7 percent to 15,070.18, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industrial Group slipped 0.3 percent to 787.17.

Fashion and retail shares in general fell in line with the overall market. Coldwater Creek, for example, fell 5.6 percent to $2.64.

One bright spot was Coty Inc., which saw green on its second day of trading, rising 0.9 percent to $17.52.

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Overseas, European markets closed on a slightly upbeat note, with the DAX in Frankfurt up 0.4 percent to 8,127. 96, London’s FTSE 100 ahead 0.1 percent, and both Paris’ CAC 40 and Milan’s FTSE MIB gaining 0.2 percent to 3,805.16 and 16,152.91 respectively.

Retail and luxury stocks were predominantly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Safilo, up 2.2 percent to 16.09 euros;, 1.6 percent to 38.72 pounds; and Burberry, 1.5 percent to 13.70 pounds.

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