New York, Dec 15 (IANS) The US stocks retreated further on Monday, as Wall Street eyed the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48.27 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,216.94. The S&P 500 lost 8.43 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,003.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 32.30 points, or 0.65 percent, to 4,901.16, according to Xinhua news agency.
With no major economic data due out on Monday, investors focused on the US central bank’s monetary policy meeting, which is widely expected to end with the first Fed rate hike in nine years.
US Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has said recently that the continuing improvement in the labour market helps strengthen confidence that inflation will move back to the objective of 2 percent over the medium term.
“The market is expected to remain problematic at least through Wednesday and the Fed announcement,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.
On Friday, oil prices dived to near seven-year lows after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to keep crude production pumping at current level in an already-oversupplied market.
The US stocks closed sharply lower amid rate hike concerns on Friday, as the declining crude prices knocked down shares of major oil companies.
Overseas, Chinese stocks rebounded strongly on improved market sentiment Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumping 2.51 percent to close at 3,520.67 points.