Stocks retreat ahead of Apple, Fed; oil drop continues

Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:14pm EDT
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By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets retreated for a second straight session on Tuesday as investors were cautious ahead of earnings from Apple and a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement, while crude prices slumped to multi-week lows on growing oversupply concerns.

The S&P 500 .SPX closed lower as investors awaited Apple earnings after the closing bell in an effort to gauge global demand. Investors were also bracing for the conclusion of the Fed's two-day meeting on Wednesday for signs on the timing of an interest rate hike.

"It’s an incredibly busy week, with the Fed tomorrow followed by GDP on Thursday. We are right in the heart of earnings and the market has just run 10 percent uninterrupted," said Patrick Schaffer, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank in Los Angeles.

"So ahead of a bellwether reporting tonight, why buy it?"

Prior to declines this week, the benchmark index had rallied more than 10 percent from the end of September.

European shares fell following a profit warning from BASF (BASFn.DE: Quote). The world's largest chemicals firm blamed struggling emerging markets like China and Brazil.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 41.62 points, or 0.24 percent, to 17,581.43, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 5.29 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,065.89 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 4.56 points, or 0.09 percent, to 5,030.15.

MSCI's all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS of the equity performance of 46 countries lost 0.57 percent, its second straight decline, while the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index, tracking Europe's 300 largest companies, closed down 1 percent.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening of the markets in New York October 14, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson