* World Bank cuts global growth forecasts
* JPMorgan falls after earnings
* Freeport McMoRan drops on copper weakness
* Retail sales fall short of estimate
* Indexes off: Dow 1.34 pct, S&P 1.08 pct, Nasdaq 0.81 pct (Updates to late morning)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dropped on Wednesday, putting equities on pace for their fourth straight losing session as a World Bank forecast sparked concerns about weak economies and U.S. retail sales for December missed expectations.
Copper touched its lowest since July 2009 and were last down 5 percent at $5,563 a tonne after the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for this year and 2016. Shares of Freeport McMoRan Inc tumbled 11.8 percent to $18.55 as the worst performer on the S&P 500.
Oil prices remained volatile, struggling to find a floor. Brent crude fell to a low of $45.59 before paring losses to trade down 0.5 percent to $46.35, while U.S. crude was up 0.2 percent at $45.96 after falling as low as $45.01. U.S. crude stocks rose far more than expected last week according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
Consumer spending in December disappointed and added to the economic concerns. The S&P retail index fell 1.5 percent.
“Anything that is remotely related to commodities or extracting anything from the ground is definitely heavily for sale, so there are deflationary overtones there,” said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.
“There is some debate about how ugly this retail sales number is, but at the end of the day you can’t call it good, so it shows the economy is maybe not as chipper as people thought it was.”
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 235.69 points, or 1.34 percent, to 17,377.99, the S&P 500 lost 21.93 points, or 1.08 percent, to 2,001.1 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 37.89 points, or 0.81 percent, to 4,623.61.
Bank shares also lost ground, with JPMorgan Chase & Co off 4.4 percent to $56.24 after the biggest U.S. bank by assets reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit. Wells Fargo & Co shed 1.5 percent to $51.09 after posting quarterly results.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were in negative territory, with materials down nearly 2 percent, and financials also off 2 percent, leading the decline.
Companies were expected to show fourth-quarter earnings growth of 3.7 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from 11.2 percent growth forecast on Oct. 1.
The benchmark S&P index had fallen for three straight sessions and eight of the past 10 days. The index is down more than 4 percent from its last record high on Dec. 29.
Other data showed U.S. import prices recorded their biggest drop in six years in December as the cost of petroleum plunged. while business inventories rose for November.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,169 to 798, for a 2.72-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,840 issues fell and 754 advanced for a 2.44-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
In the benchmark S&P 500 index, there were eight new 52-week highs and 26 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 20 new highs and 95 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jeffrey Benkoe)