* U.S. crude falls over 1 pct
* Chicago Fed head to speak at 1:10 p.m. ET
* Sprouts Farmers up after report on Albertsons merger talk
* Indexes down: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.12 pct
(Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 20 U.S. stocks were lower on Monday as
investors assessed the G20’s decision to drop a pledge to keep
global trade free and open and as oil prices fell.
Financial leaders of the world’s biggest economies made only
a token reference to trade in their communique on Saturday,
acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States after
the two-day meeting failed to yield a compromise.
The dollar fell to a six-week low, while European stocks
The U.S. stock market has been on a roll since the election
of Donald Trump as president as investors bet on his plans to
reform the tax code and cut regulation. The S&P 500 has risen
about 11 percent since early November.
“Given the slow progress in implementing tax cuts and
infrastructure spending plans, markets will soon realize that
they are ahead of themselves,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market
strategist at FXTM.
“I’m still quite confident that U.S. protectionist policies
will do more harm than good.”
Analysts are also worried that the Trump administration is
spending too much of its political capital in an effort to pass
a Republican-proposed healthcare bill, which may leave it
wanting for support when it tries to reform the tax code.
At 9:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 15.21 points, or 0.07 percent, at 20,899.41.
The S&P 500 was down 4.06 points, or 0.17 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was down 6.97 points, or 0.12
percent, at 5,894.03.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy
index’s 0.86 percent fall leading the decliners.
Oil fell around 1 percent as investors continued to unwind
bets on higher prices after record cuts last week because of
concerns that growing U.S. oil output could hamper an OPEC-led
production cut deal.
Exxon and Chevron were down about 0.6
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s conservative rate guidance is
also weighing on investors, who will keep an eye on Federal
Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans’ speech later in
Evans, a voting member this year on the Fed’s rate-setting
committee, will speak on the economy at 1:10 p.m. ET.
In a television interview earlier on Monday, Evans said the
Fed is on track to raise interest rates twice more this year,
and it could be more or less aggressive depending on inflation
and fiscal policies.
The week is expected to see a host of Fed speakers,
including Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday.
Last week, the central bank raised interest rates for the
first time this year but stuck to its outlook for two more hikes
this year, instead of three expected by the market.
Sprouts Farmers Market was up 3.9 percent at $22.75
after Bloomberg reported that grocer Albertsons Cos held
preliminary talks to merge with the natural and organic foods
U.S.-listed shares of Deutsche Bank fell 2.8 percent
to $18.50 after the German lender disclosed terms of its nearly
$9 billion cash call.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,648
to 859. On the Nasdaq, 1,577 issues fell and 770 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
D’Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)