* 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.
At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 99.81 points, or 0.58 percent, at 17,129.32, the S&P 500 was down 12.59 points, or 0.62 percent, at 2,007.05 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 25.15 points, or 0.53 percent, at 4,725.13.
The selloff was broad-based, with all 10 major S&P sectors lower, led by a more than 1 percent fall in the materials and energy sectors.
Shares of Chevron were off 1.4 percent at $92.78, while those of Freeport McMoRan were down 6.7 percent at $9.30.
Oil prices continued sliding on mounting fears that a recent rally had run its course as the global glut showed no signs of abating soon.
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals were down 24 percent at $54.50 after the Canadian drugmaker cut its revenue forecast for 2016.
Apple was up 1.9 percent at $104.47 after Morgan Stanley said iPhone demand for March was tracking ahead of expectations.
Mead Johnson rose 10.3 percent to $83.18 with traders attributing gains to a report that sparked deal chatter.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,225 to 478. On the Nasdaq, 1,746 issues fell and 518 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded one new high and seven lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)