Wall Street fell on Monday, breaking from its recent lockstep with oil prices as a recovery in recently beaten-down utilities stocks was offset by a drop in healthcare and energy shares.
U.S. indexes gave up early gains despite a 3 percent rally in U.S. oil prices. Stocks and oil have been strongly correlated in recent months as crude prices tanked to decade lows.
Following gains last week, technical trading dominated the action as the S&P 500 fell below its 50-day moving average. The index rose above the average on Thursday for the first time this year.
"If stocks rally up to a declining 50-day average, people will sell against that," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc in San Antonio. "From a psychological standpoint, you have that overhead resistance at that level."
At 3:14 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 0.63 percent to 16,534.75 and the S&P 500 .SPX had lost 0.64 percent to 1,935.63. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.53 percent to 4,566.36.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors fell, led by a 1 percent decline in the healthcare sector .SPXHC.
Strong data, including improving consumer spending trends, released last week suggested the U.S. economy was recovering better than expected, raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates this year.
Federal funds futures implied traders see a 38 percent chance of a hike in June and a 57 percent chance in December, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.
Shares of Endo International (ENDP.O) slumped 20 percent after the pharmaceutical company's revenue forecast missed estimates.
Valeant (VRX.N) fell 9.76 percent after the Canadian drugmaker said its chief executive would return from medical leave and it delayed the release of its quarterly results.
Icahn Enterprises (IEP.O) rose 5.34 percent after the activist investor offered to buy the rest of Federal Mogul (FDML.O). Shares of the auto parts maker soared 44 percent to $7.13.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,684 to 1,323. On the Nasdaq, 1,454 issues rose and 1,341 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed seven new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 38 new highs and 34 lows.
(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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Updated Date: Mar 01, 2016 02:30 AM