US stocks retreat ahead of Fed meeting

New York, Jan 25 (IANS) US stocks traded lower in the morning session on Monday, as Wall Street meditated on a renewed decline in oil prices ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 73.21 points, or 0.45 percent, to 16,020.30. The S&P 500 fell 10.97 points, or 0.58 percent, to 1,895.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 21. 54 points, or 0.47 percent, to 4,569.64.

The US central bank will start its two-day meeting on Tuesday and will release a statement after the conclusion Wednesday. Analysts expected that the Fed won’t take any rate action at this meeting amid oil weakness.

With no major economic data due out on Monday, oil prices were still in focus, which witnessed wild swings last week.

Oil prices tumbled over 4 percent around midday on Monday as Iraq announced record-high oil production.

On Friday, oil prices soared, with both the US oil and Brent crude spiking about 9 percent, as traders started to buy the dips despite persistent oversupply worries.

As it will take years to wash out the whole supply in oil market and reach the balance point where supply meets demand, many analysts do not expect oil prices will recovery soon.

In corporate news, shares of McDonald’s rose over 1 percent around midday Monday after the fast-food chain delivered better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015.

On Friday, US stocks ended sharply higher as further recovery in oil prices boosted investor sentiment.

Last week, US stocks posted their first weekly gains of the new year, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq going up 0.7 percent, 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

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