Stocks Dip Ahead of Fed News; Oil Prices Drop

Dow dumps 400 points, on track for lowest close since April

A measure of small-company stocks fell into a bear market, a decline of 20 percent below their recent peak.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc shares rose 2.1 percent to snap a nine-day losing streak related to the 1MDB scandal. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey's headline general business conditions index, aggregated by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, fell 12.4 points to 10.9 in November, weaker than analysts' expectations of the 20.6.

The S&P 500 index inched up 0.22 points to 2,546.16.

Shares of Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc, collectively known as FAANG, gained between 1.3 percent and 3.1 percent.

The Dow lost 507 points, or 2.1 percent, to 23,592. The S&P 500 is now in the red for 2018 by 4%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 500 points, its second straight drop of that size and its fourth big decline this month.

An indication that the Fed would slow its pace of interest-rate hikes could calm markets, but the United States central bank's intentions remain unclear, said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina. The same is true of the Dow, which has dropped more than 7% since December 1.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 116 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 10 new highs and 556 new lows.

Rajapaksa to resign as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, says lawmaker
When Sirisena's decision was contested, he dissolved Parliament and called for a snap parliamentary election in January. The Cabinet will consist of 30 members and include six Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarians, it said.

Mourinho selection backfires, United misses out on top spot
Italian giants Juventus have readied a €80 million bid to land the Frenchman in January from Manchester United . Pushed as why they're so far away, he added: 'The reasons I was telling him, it's not just about spending'.

NEW Bomb Threat for Bitcoins Not Credible, says RCMP December 14, 2018
He encouraged people to report anything suspicious to law enforcement and that "swatting incidents" would be investigated. The letter goes on to threaten that if payment isn't received by the end of the "working day" the bomb "will explode".

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.87 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.43-to-1 ratio favored decliners. -China trade talks, a major focus for markets, since the beginning of this month. "We are at a regime shift moment, and the debate is how big that regime shift will be".

Less than 40 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 finished Monday higher, resulting in its lowest level since October 9, 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Homebuilder sentiment drops in December to the lowest point in more than three years as potential buyers delayed purchasing new homes, giving rise to concerns over affordability. Many hoped that a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping would help improve the outlook because he was expected to call for more market reforms.

JAPANESE TRADE: On Wednesday, Japan reported that its trade balance in November was a deficit of 737.3 billion yen, from 450.1 billion yen in the previous month.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.36 cents USA, up from Tuesday's average value of 74.33 cents US.

The dollar extended its declines against major currencies ahead of the Fed meeting.

The Nasdaq rose 46 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,800.

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