U.S. Stocks Retreat as Wariness Grows Amid Summer Slumber

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks fell to their lowest level in almost two weeks on Monday amid concern that markets have risen too high this year, and that when the Federal Reserve does decide to pullback on its stimulus measures, equities could start to tumble.

A correction may be long overdue.

In the meantime, the S&P 500 dipped 0.37% to 1,685.34 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.29% to 15,513.84. The Nasdaq declined 0.39% to 3,599.14.

Investors did have some economic news to consider such as a National Association of Realtors report Monday that its pending home sales index fell by 0.4% in June after gaining by downwardly-revised 5.8% in May. Economists, on average, were expecting a decline of 1%.

Later this week, focus will turn to the government's estimate of second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, scheduled for Wednesday, followed by the Federal Reserve's latest policy announcement after its regularly scheduled two-day meeting ends that same day. On Thursday, the ISM manufacturing composite will be published followed by the release of the month's U.S. government's non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

Also on Wednesday, alongside the initial snapshot of second-quarter output, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release comprehensive benchmark revisions that extend back to 1929. Economists are widely expecting a series of upward revisions for the past couple of years.

"The Fed will be first and foremost in the market's crosshairs; while there has been some talk of the Fed re-thinking its forward guidance, we expect to see few changes made to the communique," Gennadiy Goldberg, a New York-based U.S. strategist at TD Securities commented in a report. "The lack of a post-meeting press conference would make it difficult for the Fed to clarify any changes, likely leading to increased market volatility. The Fed is therefore likely to remain in 'wait and see' mode, and we continue to expect a QE tapering announcement in September if the economic data continues to improve."

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 6/32, bolstering the yield to 2.591%.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England also give their policy announcements this Thursday.

Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

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