* Perrigo shares tumble after guidance, CEO replacement
* Tribune Publishing soars over 50 pct after Gannett offer
* Dow, S&P and Nasdaq down 0.4 pct (Updates prices, changes byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
April 25 (Reuters) - Energy shares dragged down Wall Street on Monday, coinciding with a decline in oil prices, while earnings and guidance from companies including Perrigo and Xerox also weighed on U.S. stocks.
With the S&P 500 up in eight of the past 10 weeks and nearing the record high set almost a year ago, traders are struggling to find reasons to push it even higher as underwhelming earnings and the specter of higher interest rates hover over markets.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady after a two-day meeting set to begin Tuesday, but policymakers may be more upbeat on the economic outlook leaving the path open for future rate hikes.
Perrigo Co, down 17 percent after it lowered its adjusted profit forecast for the full year, was among the largest weights on the S&P 500. It’s CEO and Chairman Joseph Papa resigned to take the reins at Valeant Pharma, whose U.S.-traded shares are down 85 percent from last August.
“This is hardly a big selloff but we are having trouble breaking through (to new highs on the S&P) because of a lack of consistently good earnings and economic data,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“One of the few positives is a weaker dollar but it is hard to see a reason for that to continue; rates are being lowered around the world and expected to rise here (in the United States), there’s no clear path to a lower dollar.”
At 3:26 PM ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 67.87 points, or 0.38 percent, to 17,935.88, the S&P 500 had lost 8.45 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,083.13 and the Nasdaq Composite had dropped 21.51 points, or 0.44 percent, to 4,884.72.
First-quarter earnings are expected to have fallen 7.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. Of the 135 S&P companies that have reported, 59 percent have reported revenue above analyst expectations, falling just short of the average of 60 percent going back to 2002.
Xerox shares fell 13.1 percent to $9.71 after the printer and copier maker reported lower revenue. The stock was on track for its worst day since September 2009.
Tribune Publishing soared 53 percent to $11.50 after Gannett offered to buy the owner of the Los Angeles Times. Gannett was up 5.2 percent at $16.59.
The PHLX housing index was down 0.9 percent, its largest daily decline in three weeks, after new U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in March. The decline was sharply concentrated in the western U.S. region, however, suggesting that the housing market continued to steadily improve.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.63-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq a 2.01-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 20 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernard Orr)