By Tanya Agrawal
Wall Street slipped in late morning trading on Tuesday amid uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidential election and tepid construction spending data.Construction spending in September unexpectedly fell, which could lead to a mild downward revision to the third-quarter economic growth estimate.Another set of data showed that while U.S. factory activity increased for the second straight month in October, a gauge of new orders slipped.Investors have been cautious about taking large positions due to uncertainty surrounding the election and with the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates before the end of the year.Democrat Hillary Clinton held a 5 percentage point lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday, down only slightly since the FBI said last week it was reviewing new emails in its investigation of Clinton ahead of the Nov. 8 election."The election is causing some uncertainty in the market because a Clinton victory had been priced in and the latest FBI news is causing some nervousness," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.The market is also watching the outcome of the two-day Fed meeting, which kicked off on Tuesday. While traders doubt the Fed will raise interest rates this week, they will be looking for signs to firm up their expectations for a hike at the central bank's meeting next month.
Chances of a rate hike in December were at around 78 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch Tool."Being in the heart of earnings season complicates matters as does the concerns related to the Federal Reserve," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth in New York."Investors have allowed themselves to be overcome with these near-term uncertainties and I believe that is why we've seen this type of indecisive trading."At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 24.62 points, or 0.14 percent, at 18,117.8.
The S&P 500 was down 3.7 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,122.45. The Nasdaq Composite was down 9.69 points, or 0.19 percent, at 5,179.45.Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the utilities index's 0.66 percent fall leading the decliners.Pfizer was down 1 percent at $31.38 after the drugmaker's quarterly profit fell below expectations.
L Brands fell 8.5 percent to $66.08 after a host of brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.Coach rose 4.9 percent to $37.65 after reporting a jump in quarterly profit.Oil edged up from one-month lows following its largest one-day slide in more than five weeks. [O/R]Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,763 to 1,004. On the Nasdaq, 1,421 issues fell and 1,099 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 77 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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