Global stocks fall in light volume ahead of Fed statement
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks in major markets fell on Tuesday, with Wall Street posting subpar volume for a second straight session, after the Bank of Japan painted a bleaker picture of the world's third-largest economy and U.S. retail sales data lowered expectations of a strong first quarter.
The yen rose against the U.S. dollar, crude oil dropped and emerging market shares fell the most in more than a month.
U.S. retail sales fell less than expected in February, but a sharp downward revision to January's numbers cooled expectations for a strong quarter of growth for the U.S. economy.
However, the Federal Reserve is not expected to remove the prospect of a rate hike in the near future when it ends its two-day meeting on Wednesday.
"The Fed, I believe, is not going to do anything to take tightening out of the equation," said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer, multi-asset strategies and solutions at Voya Investment Management in New York.
He said first-quarter growth in the United States looks "a bit worse" after the retail sales data. Taken with the recent run-up in stocks and ahead of a Fed statement, that creates an environment for profit-taking.
Healthcare weighed the most on the S&P 500, hurt by a 51 percent drop in shares of Valeant after the Canadian drugmaker slashed its 2016 revenue forecast and said a delay in filing its annual report could mean a debt default.
After trading slightly lower for most of the day, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 22.4 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,251.53, while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,015.93 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 21.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,728.67. Continued...