By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Wall Street was near session lows on Monday afternoon as energy stocks slipped along with oil prices, and Amazon and Netflix weighed on consumer stocks.Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer warned that economic stability could be threatened by low interest rates, but said it was "not that simple" for the Fed to raise rates.The comments from Fischer, a dove who has supported a rate hike, come even as other Fed officials have recently said the current state of affairs may be about as good as it gets.The central bank's lack of clarity on the timing of a rate hike is seen aggravating the uncertainty in the markets that has been sparked by changing dynamics in a tightly-run race for the White House and nervousness regarding third-quarter earnings.Investors hope corporate America's profits fare better in the second half of the year than they did in the first. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to have slipped 0.1 percent in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.At 12:36 p.m. ET (1636 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 33.24 points, or 0.18 percent, at 18,105.14.
The S&P 500 .SPX was down 2.93 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,130.05. The index has alternated between losses and gains for the past seven trading days.The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 2.35 points, or 0.05 percent, at 5,211.81.Six of the 11 major S&P 500 indexes were lower, with the energy sector's .SPNY 0.63 percent drop the steepest. Oil fell 1 percent as a rising U.S. rig count left investors worried about the prolonged glut. [O/R]Bank of America (BAC.N) shares were little changed despite its profit rising for the first time in three quarters and also topping estimates.
McDonald's (MCD.N) was the top drag on the Dow, falling 1.2 percent after Nomura cut its price target on the stock. Netflix (NFLX.O) fell 1.9 percent as analysts anticipate weakness in subscriber growth when the video streaming website reports third-quarter results after markets close.Amazon (AMZN.O) was down 1 percent, falling for the third straight day, and along with McDonald's and Netflix dragged the consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD 0.49 percent lower.
One bright spot was Hasbro (HAS.O), which gained 6.9 percent after the toymaker's better-than-expected quarterly report.IBM (IBM.N), also due to report quarterly results after the close, was up 0.2 percent.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,474 to 1,388. On the Nasdaq, 1,424 issues fell and 1,250 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 16 new highs and 70 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2016 23:00 PM