US STOCKS-Wall St falls as healthcare, materials stumble

miércoles 24 de agosto de 2016 16:19 GYT

* Yellen to speak on monetary policy on Friday

* Materials lower as gold weakens

* Indexes down: Dow 0.35 pct, S&P 0.52 pct, Nasdaq 0.81 pct (Updates to market close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street retreated on Wednesday, pulled lower by weakness in the materials and healthcare sectors as investors continued to weigh the possibility of an interest rate hike in the coming months.

Healthcare shares, off 1.6 percent, saw their biggest drop since June 24. They were dragged lower by a 5.4-percent drop in Mylan to $43.15 as political pressure mounted on the company in the wake of price increases for its EpiPen allergy treatment.

Materials were down 1.2 percent as names such as Newmont Mining and Freeport-McMoRan were the worst performing names on the S&P 500, losing more than 7 percent. Gold fell to a one-month low on a firmer dollar.

The market is awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday for insight on the direction of monetary policy.

Recent hawkish comments from some Fed officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have raised expectations that Yellen might signal a hike in September.   Continuación...