US stocks slide ahead of Federal Reserve’s meeting

New York, Jan 31 (IANS) US stocks traded lower in the morning session Monday, as Wall Street eyed the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Around midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 187.09 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 19,906.69. The S&P 500 lost 20.35 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 2,274.34, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 62.51 points, or 1.10 per cent, to 5,598.28.

At its December meeting, the US central bank raised the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the first and only time in 2016, and indicated a faster rate hike pace next year.

Most analysts believed that the Fed won’t hike rates at this week’s meeting, but the meeting will still be watched closely for more clues on the timing a next rate increase.

On the economic front, US personal income in December increased $50.2 billion , or 0.3 per cent, missing market consensus, announced the Commerce Department on Monday.

On Friday, US stocks closed mixed, with the Nasdaq eking out a new closing record as investors digested the country’s economic growth data as well as a batch of technical corporate earnings reports.