US STOCKS-Wall Street slips off Dow, S&P records as oil price drops

Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:28am EST
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* Existing home sales hit 9-month low

* Goldman cuts Boeing to sell rating

* Valeant, Salix agree to merger deal

* Indexes off: Dow 0.24 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.16 pct (Adds data, updates prices)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower in morning trading Monday amid weakness in oil prices, after a conditional agreement by euro zone finance ministers to extend Greece's bailout sent the Dow and S&P to record levels last week.

Oil prices fell, with Brent down 0.9 percent to $59.68 and WTI crude off 2.4 percent at $49.61 a barrel on oversupply concerns and a stronger dollar, pulling the S&P energy index down 0.5 percent.

Housing stocks lost ground, with the PHLX housing sector index off 0.2 percent after existing home sales fell sharply to their lowest in nine months in January.

Investors were also reluctant to make big bets before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony on the economy and monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee, which will be closely watched for any indications on the timing of an interest rate hike.   Continued...