US STOCKS-Health, materials shares drag on Wall St in lull before Fed news

martes 15 de marzo de 2016 15:14 GYT

* Valeant down after cutting revenue forecast

* Feb retail sales fall less than expected

* Indexes down: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.37 pct, Nasdaq 0.56 pct (Updates to afternoon)

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - Healthcare and materials stocks weighed down Wall Street on Tuesday in a second straight day of generally quiet trading as cautious investors awaited news from the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

While the Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its meeting ending on Wednesday, investors will scour Fed chair Janet Yellen's comments for clues indicating a path for future rate hikes.

"Everybody's waiting for what the Fed meeting will come up with," said Mohannad Aama, managing director of Beam Capital Management LLC in New York. "It's not unusual to have a couple quiet days before that."

Ahead of the Fed meeting outcome, smaller stocks sold off faster than bigger ones in an effort by investors to reduce risk, Aama said.

U.S. retail sales fell less than expected in February, but a sharp downward revision to January's data could reignite concerns about the economy's growth prospects.   Continuación...