US STOCKS-Wall St lower as dollar's run weighs on oil
* Crude prices fall below $40 a barrel
* Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) down after UBS starts coverage with sell
* Futures down: Dow 0.49 pct, S&P 0.63 pct, Nasdaq 0.53 pct
(Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on Thursday
morning, ahead of the long Easter weekend, as a stronger dollar
weighed on crude oil .
The dollar was on track for its best streak of gains in
almost a year after comments by U.S. Federal Reserve
policymakers suggested support for more than one increase in
interest rates this year.
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
rate hike may not be far off.
The comments by Fed officials come after Fed Chair Janet
Yellen adopted a cautious tone on raising rates and said the
central bank remains data dependant and wary of weak global
financial and economic conditions.
Investors will now assess data to gauge the health of the
economy as they begin to price in the possibility of more rate
hikes in 2016 than anticipated.
"You've had a pretty good recovery here now, and it seems
like risk-reward certainly isn't as attractive," said Aaron
Clark, a portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management in
At 9:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average
.DJI was down 86.57 points, or 0.49 percent, at 17,416.02, the
S&P 500 .SPX was down 12.77 points, or 0.63 percent, at
2,023.94 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 25.24 points,
or 0.53 percent, at 4,743.62.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 1.4
percent fall in the financial sector .SPSY .
Wells Fargo WFC.N was down 1.7 percent at $48.91 after UBS
started coverage of the bank with a "sell" rating. The stock was
the biggest drag on the S&P 500.
Data on Thursday 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
Oil prices, which had recovered from a rout that sent both
benchmarks to multi-year lows, fell below $40 a barrel as U.S.
crude inventories touched record highs. O/R
Staples SPLS.O shares were up 6.5 percent at $10.71 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 5 percent, while Signet Jewelers
SIG.N and Accenture ACN.N were up about 3.5 percent after
strong quarterly results.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
2,299 to 362. On the Nasdaq, 1,819 issues fell and 412 rose.
The S&P 500 index showed two new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 31 new lows.
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