Wall Street declined on Monday, with the S&P 500 falling for a third straight session, amid concern over Federal Reserve’s plan to cut stimulus and an economic slowdown in China.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41 points or 0.26%, to end at 15,838. For the Dow, Monday marked a fifth session of losses. The S&P 500 dropped nine points or 0.49%, to finish at 1,782. The Nasdaq Composite slid 45 points or 1.08%, to close at 4,084.
The losses followed a steep decline late last week tied to emerging market concerns. Sentiment further dampened on Monday after data showed sales of new US single-family homes fell more than expected in December, even though lean inventories and steady price gains suggested sufficient strength in the housing market.
The technology sector led the day's decline, with Google (GOOG.O) losing 2%. Microsoft (MSFT.O) was down 2.1%.
After the bell, shares of Apple (AAPL.O) declined 5.7% after its results showed iPhone holiday sales lagged Wall Street's expectations.
Visa, the world’s biggest bank-card network, declined 2.3%. Goldman Sachs lost 1.8%.
In deal news, Liberty Global (LMCA) Plc slipped 2.2% after the company controlled by billionaire John Malone agreed to take over Dutch broadband provider Ziggo NV for €4.9 billion.
However, Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) limited the losses of the Dow and S&P 500. The stock jumped 5.9% after the maker of mining and construction equipment reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit.
The Fed's two-day policy meeting begins on Tuesday. Many market participants are bracing for the market to sell off if the Fed decides to keep withdrawing stimulus. The central bank decided at its December gathering to begin cutting its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion.
In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses on Tuesday before the Fed meeting to discuss a further reduction in stimulus and as profit growth at China’s industrial companies slowed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 135 as of 11:13 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index added 0.2%, after yesterday posting its steepest decline since August, as the yen weakened against the dollar.
South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.2%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index also climbed 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1%. Australia’s ASX/200 Index fell 0.8%, led by miners and banks. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index added 0.1%.