U.S. stocks sag as euro equities, dollar gain

Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:14pm EDT
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By Michael Connor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street drifted down while European shares neared record highs in choppy global equities trading on Tuesday as the dollar rebounded and oil prices fell.

The dollar's gains knocked the euro back below $1.10, even as yields on U.S. Treasuries eased on betting in credit markets that low inflation will persist and delay interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Data from home sales to inflation and manufacturing published on Tuesday indicated the U.S. economy remains strong but did little to shift Wall Street expectations about the timing of the first Fed rate increases since 2006.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed down 104.96 points, or 0.58 percent, at 18,011.08, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 12.92 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,091.50 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 16.25 points, or 0.32 percent, to 4,994.73.

Declines on the Nasdaq were held in check by a boost from Google (GOOGL.O: Quote), up 2 percent to $570.19. Morgan Stanley's (MS.N: Quote) chief financial officer is leaving the bank to join Google.

Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares closed up 0.26 percent at 1,604.36, near a recent 7-1/2-year high, after a stronger-than-expected survey showed euro zone manufacturing at a four-year high.

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was off 0.21 percent at 432.00 after rising to almost 434.5, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The euro EUR= topped $1.10 early in the global session but was last down 0.30 percent at $1.092. The dollar has been on a roll for 12 months, rising more than 20 percent against a basket of major currencies on expectation of higher U.S. rates.   Continued...

Traders wait for the opening of Whiting Petroleum's stock on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid