The following is an excerpt from LAILA KEARNEY | March 15, 2016 | reuters.com |
Healthcare and materials stocks pulled Wall Street lower on Tuesday in a second straight day of quiet trading as investors cautiously awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.
While the Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its meeting ending on Wednesday, investors will scour Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments for clues indicating a path for future rate hikes.
“We're on auto pilot until we actually get the results of the Fed meeting tomorrow afternoon," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. "It's not unusual to (be in) wait-and-see mode as you head into a big announcement."
Ahead of the Fed meeting's outcome, smaller stocks sold off more than bigger ones as investors sought to reduce risk, said Mohannad Aama, managing director of Beam Capital Management LLC in New York.
U.S. retail sales fell less than expected in February, but a sharp downward revision to January's data could reignite concerns about the economy's growth prospects.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended up 22.4 points, or 0.13 percent, at 17,251.53, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,015.93 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 21.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,728.67.
Healthcare was the worst-performing sector, dropping 1.6 percent.
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