US STOCKS-Wall St dips as Wells Fargo leads fall in financials
* Crude prices fall on strong dollar, stockpile build
* Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) down after UBS starts coverage with sell
* Indexes down: Dow 0.41 pct, S&P 0.49 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on Thursday ahead
of the long Easter weekend, as Wells Fargo led declines in
financial stocks and gains in the dollar hurt commodities.
Wells Fargo's WFC.N 2.2 percent drop was the biggest drag
on the S&P 500. UBS started coverage of the bank's stock with a
"sell" rating, citing cloudy revenue outlook and credit risks
that extend beyond its energy portfolio.
The dollar was on track for its best streak in almost a year
as recent comments by U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers
suggested their support for more than one increase in interest
rates this year, with the first perhaps as early as April.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voting member of
the Federal Open Market Committee, became the latest official to
take a hawkish stance after he said on Thursday that another
hike "may not be far off."
The comments are in contrast with Fed Chair Janet Yellen's
cautious tone on raising rates as the central bank remains data
dependant and wary of weak global financial and economic
"The outlook for most investors is caution," said Amir
Madden, portfolio manager at asset management firm GAM in New
Madden said the lack of clear guidance on the Fed's move,
poor visibility on earnings and geopolitical concerns would
weigh on investor sentiment.
Oil prices, which had recovered from a rout that sent both
benchmarks to multi-year lows, fell on the strong dollar and
record-high U.S. crude inventories. O/R
At 12:31 p.m. ET (1631 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial
average .DJI was down 70.95 points, or 0.41 percent, at
17,431.64, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 10.07 points, or 0.49
percent, at 2,026.64 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down
17.45 points, or 0.37 percent, at 4,751.42.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.3
percent fall in the financial sector .SPSY . Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS )
GS.N was down 1.9 percent at $151.15 and weighed the most on
Data on Thursday also showed durable goods orders fell less
than estimated in February, while better-than-expected jobless
claims data showed the labor market was stronger than previously
Staples SPLS.O shares were up 8.3 percent at $10.88 after
a report said a U.S. judge rebuked the Federal Trade
Commission's legal tactics in the Staples and Office Depot
PVH Corp (NYSE: PVH ) PVH.N was up 8.3 percent, while Signet Jewelers
SIG.N and Accenture ACN.N were up about 4 percent after
strong quarterly results.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
1,865 to 1,018. On the Nasdaq, 1,594 issues fell and 1,055 rose.
The S&P 500 index showed seven new 52-week highs and one new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 45 new lows.
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