US STOCKS-Wall St declines on China, Ukraine concerns

miércoles 12 de marzo de 2014 10:40 GYT

* EPL Oil to be acquired by Energy XXI for $2.3 bln

* Retailer Express slumps after outlook

* Copper drops to lowest level in nearly four years

* Indexes down: Dow 0.24 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.25 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a third straight decline after its most recent record high, as concerns grew over the strength of China's economy.

London copper, seen as a proxy for China's economic health, fell for a fourth day to its lowest level since July 2010. Recent China data suggested an economic slowdown, while the country's first-ever bond default last week increased concerns financing deals that use the industrial metal as collateral could unravel. The S&P materials index fell 0.3 percent.

Investors also continue to monitor geopolitical developments as earnings season has drawn to a close and amid a light economic calendar, leaving no catalyst to push the benchmark S&P index higher after its most recent record close on Friday.

"We've climbed so far, to continue to climb is definitely going to be a see-saw move," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.   Continuación...