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US stocks drop

United States America,Business/Economy, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 IANS

New York, April 3 (IANS) US stocks fell into the negative territory Tuesday, after the latest data on factory orders came in weaker than expected, as investors were awaiting the details of the last Federal Reserve meeting.


Stocks started the second quarter on strong notes, with the broader Standard & Poor's 500 closing at the highest level since May 2008.


However, sentiment turned a little bit sour after a report from the Commerce Department showed that orders to US factories climbed 1.3 percent in February, Xinhua reported.


Although it was the first month of gain in the last four, the advance was still falling short of market expectation.


Meanwhile, investors were awaiting the Fed's minutes from the last monetary policy meeting later Tuesday, with special focus on the central bank's sentiment on the economy and its hints for the next monetary policy move.


In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.17 points, or 0.40 percent, to 13,211.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 5.59 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,413.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 3.66 points, or 0.12 percent, to 3,116.04.


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