US STOCKS-Wall St dips as focus turns to Fed; energy stocks drag

martes 15 de marzo de 2016 09:59 GYT

* Valeant down after cutting revenue forecast

* Feb retail sales fall less than expected

* Indexes down: Dow 0.58 pct, S&P 0.62 pct, Nasdaq 0.53 pct (Updates to open)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on Tuesday as a slide in oil prices dragged down energy stocks and investors kept to the sidelines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

Global markets fell and the yen rose as investors sought safe havens after the Bank of Japan's lowered inflation expectations suggested it may increase its stimulus program.

"We just overcame two very volatile months and investors are just stepping back a little bit, digesting data and figuring out where to best be positioned for the next six-nine months," said Brian Fenske, head of sales trading at ITG in New York.

Data on Tuesday showed retail sales dipped 0.1 percent in February, less than the 0.2 percent drop estimated, but a sharp downward revision to January's sales could reignite concerns about the economy's growth prospects.

The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its two-day meeting, which starts on Tuesday, but its comments will be parsed for clues on the path of future hikes.   Continuación...