US STOCKS-Wall St dips after China economic policy comments
* Indexes off: Dow 0.18 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.59 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were trading lower on Monday after China's finance minister indicated the country will not increase stimulus measures and housing data fell short of expectations.
China will not dramatically alter its economic policy because of any one economic indicator, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Sunday, days after many economists lowered growth forecasts having seen the latest set of weak data.
"With China's statements not defining clear hurdles for stimulus, the market is grappling to guess which data point will tip the hand that controls the purse strings," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
The National Association of Realtors said U.S. existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million units, following four straight months of gains. Expectations called for sales increasing to a 5.20 million-unit pace.
The Dow Jones industrial average was falling 31.82 points, or 0.18 percent, to 17,247.92, the S&P 500 was losing 8.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,002.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was dropping 27.07 points, or 0.59 percent, to 4,552.72.
Sigma-Aldrich shares were up 34 percent to $137.13 as the best performer on the S&P 500 after German drugs and chemicals maker Merck KGaA agreed to acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion in cash to boost its life science business.
Yahoo shares were trading down 3.6 percent to $39.44. The stock was downgraded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and by Bernstein in the wake of the Alibaba Group debut Friday. Alibaba shares were down 3.2 percent to $90.90. Continuación...