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US: Stocks retreat as market eyes Fed


[New York] US stocks fell early Monday, pausing after a big rally ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rate policy this week.

About 25 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,168.01, down 45.30 points (0.26 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 8.63 (0.43 per cent) to 2,013.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 10.65 (0.22 per cent) to 4,737.81.

US stocks are primed for "a period of consolidation," said analyst Patrick O'Hare. Four weeks of gains have enabled the S&P 500 to recover most of the ground lost since the beginning of the year.

The Fed meeting, to conclude with a news conference by Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday, is not expected to produce a rate hike, but could signal plans for higher rates in subsequent meetings.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts jumped 6.6 per cent on news it received an unsolicited US$12.8 billion bid from a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group, challenging Starwood's agreed merger with Marriott International. Marriott rose 2.6 per cent.

The Fresh Market grocery chain surged 23.7 per cent on news it will be acquired by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management for about US$1.4 billion.

Petroleum-linked shares were in retreat, with Dow member Chevron down 1.1 per cent, Apache 2.5 per cent and Schlumberger 1.9 per cent.

GW Pharmaceuticals, which focuses on cannabinoid treatments, soared 112.2 per cent as it announced positive test results for a phase 3 study of its treatment for epileptic seizures.


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