Reuters: Wall St. falls as commodities weigh

Thursday 11.12.15 11:45pm

U.S. stocks were lower on Thursday as a fall in commodity prices weighed on energy and materials stocks and investors studied comments by several Federal Reserve policymakers for clues on a widely-expected interest rate hike next month.

The selloff was broad based, with all 10 major S&P sectors in the red, and pushed the Dow and S&P 500 below their 200-day moving averages.

Crude oil prices hit 2-1/2 month lows, while copper and other metal prices tumbled to more than six-year lows, weighed down by a strong dollar, weak Chinese data and concerns about oversupply.

Investors are also keeping a watchful eye on whether the Fed will raise interest rates off near-zero levels in December, a possibility Fed Chain Janet Yellen alluded to last week.

Yellen said on Thursday the Fed must weigh impact of the new financial market landscape, but did not comment on the economy or the timing of a rate hike.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said the Fed should go slow on raising rates, while St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is ready to raise rates, warned of entering an era of permanently low rates.

“You’re in a general pullback mode. But I think specifically, what spooked the market is that investors were expecting more dovish comments from Yellen and the other Fed heads,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.

New York Fed President William Dudley is scheduled to speak at around noon and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer at 6 p.m. ET.

At 11:23 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 131.08 points, or 0.74 percent, at 17,571.14

The S&P 500 .SPX was down 12.66 points, or 0.61 percent, at 2,062.34 and the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC was down 16.56 points, or 0.33 percent, at 5,050.46.

The energy sector .SPNY sank 1.9 percent as crude oil prices slipped, while the material sector .SPLRCM was down 1.5 percent as commodities prices fell.

Chevron (CVX.N) and Exxon (XOM.N) were down more than 2 percent, weighing the most on the S&P and the Dow.

Retailers were the bright spot after Kohl’s (KSS.N) reported better-than-expected quarterly net sales, sending its shares up 7 percent at $46.19.

J.C. Penney (JCP.N) was up about 3.3 percent. Nordstrom (JWN.N), which was up 2.2 percent, is scheduled to report results after the close.

Cisco (CSCO.O), also set to report after the bell, was up 0.7 percent and was among the biggest boost to all three indexes.

Advanced Auto Parts (AAP.N) dropped 12 percent to $171.37 after it reported quarterly profit below estimates.

PayPal’s shares (PYPL.O) slid 3 percent to $35.27 after the Wall Street Journal reported Apple (AAPL.O) was in talks with U.S. banks to develop a rival payment service. Apple was flat.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,243 to 712. On the Nasdaq, 1,747 issues fell and 854 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed two new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 20 new highs and 108 new lows.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)
Read more at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/12/us-markets-stocks-idUSKCN0T11GH20151112#1bEE7b0OeyOeDxac.99

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