US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower ahead of Fed, Facebook tumbles

miércoles 29 de octubre de 2014 13:25 GYT

* Energy up alongside rise in crude oil

* Facebook down as expenses seen rising

* Orbital Sciences halted after rocket explosion

* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 0.4 pct (Updates to afternoon trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell in a broad decline on Wednesday, with material shares leading the market lower as investors looked ahead to a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve as it winds down its economic stimulus program.

Strength in energy shares helped to offset some of the weakness in materials, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq was pressured by a slump in Facebook as investors fretted over its spending plans.

DuPont lost 1.4 percent to $67.03 and was the largest drag on the S&P materials sector after it said there were "competitive advantages" in keeping its businesses together. Activist investor Nelson Peltz has urged DuPont to separate its various businesses in a move that has supported the company's shares.

Equities mostly held on to recent gains, with the S&P 500 up 6.3 percent in the last nine sessions as earnings have mostly been strong. So far this reporting season, 75.3 percent of S&P 500 companies have exceeded profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, above the long-term average of 63 percent.   Continuación...